Molecular Evolution Activities

This is a comprehensive bibliography (under construction) of primary and secondary sources on the neutral theory of molecular evolution. It currently covers the period 1973-2001.

Author :

Coates, M.;Stone, S.

Year :


Title :

Simulation of protein evolution by random fixation of allowed codons

Journal :

Journal of Molecular Evolution

Volume :


Issue :


Pages :


Short Title :

Simulation of protein evolution by random fixation of allowed codons

Custom 3 :


Abstract :

Computer simulation of protein evolution is based on a simple model consisting of random fixation of allowed codons (RFAC). Random replacement of single nucleotides occurs in a DNA sequence. If this results in any of the synonomous codons for allowed amino acids the mutation is fixed, if not, there is no change in the DNA and the cycle is repeated. Multiple fixations at the same nucleotide site, back mutations, degenerate fixations and coincidental identity of amino acids all occur. RFAC simulation begins with a single DNA sequence and follows a phylogeny based on the fossil record. The rate of fixation at the level of DNA is constant. The model upon which RFAC simulation is based is the same as the neutral theory of molecular evolution. The simulation is therefore a test of this theory. The results of simulated and real evolution are compared for fibrinopeptides A in mammals and cytochromes C and hemoglobin alpha and beta chains in vertebrates. In each case the allowed variation at each site has been set equal to that observed, twice that observed and all protein amino acids. Rates of fixation vary from 2.4 X 10(-10) to 10(-8) accepted nucleotide fixations per codon per year. There is some, although never excellent, agreement between real and simulated evolution, the better fits are obtained in the cases of fibrinopeptides A and cytochromes C. The major source of discrepancy between real evolution and simulation is irregularities in the rates of real evolution. RFAC simulation is compared with the random evolutionary hit (REH) model, augmented maximum parsimony and the accepted point mutations (PAM) approach.
 -- contributed by John Beatty, March 29, 2002