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 :

Higgs, P. G.;Derrida, B.

Year :


Title :

Genetic-Distance and Species Formation in Evolving Populations

Journal :

Journal of Molecular Evolution

Volume :


Issue :


Pages :


Date :


Short Title :

Genetic-Distance and Species Formation in Evolving Populations

Alternate Journal :

J. Mol. Evol.

Custom 2 :


Abstract :

We compare the behavior of the genetic distance between individuals in evolving populations for three stochastic models. In the first model reproduction is asexual and the distribution of genetic distances reflects the genealogical tree of the population. This distribution fluctuates greatly in time, even for very large populations. In the second model reproduction is sexual with random mating allowed between any pair of individuals. In this case, the population becomes homogeneous and the genetic distance between pairs of individuals has small fluctuations which vanish in the limit of an infinitely large population. In the third model reproduction is still sexual but instead of random mating, mating only occurs between individuals which are genetically similar to each other. In that case, the population splits spontaneously into species which are in reproductive isolation from one another and one observes a steady state with a continual appearance and extinction of species in the population. We discuss this model in relation to the biological theory of speciation and isolating mechanisms. We also point out similarities between these three models of evolving populations and the theory of disordered systems in physics.

Notes :

Times Cited: 22 JT793 J MOL EVOL
 -- contributed by John Beatty, March 29, 2002