InterJournal Genetics, 178
Status: Submitted
Manuscript Number: [178]
Submission Date: 980308
Genomic Strategies for Evolutionary Adaptation: The rate, location and extent of genetic variation is not monotonous
Author(s): Lynn Caporale

Subject(s): BG.1, BG.2, BG.00, BG.10, BG.12, CX.3, CX.16

Category: Review Article


The probability of mutation differs in different organisms, different tissues, different physiological states, and at different positions in the genome. This variation in the rate of genetic change arises from the effects a nucleic acid sequence has on the nucleic acid’s structure, the activity and fidelity of enzymes that copy, repair, and recombine it, and the probability of insertion of mobile elements.The fidelity of enzyme complexes that copy, move, and repair nucleic acids differ among each other and differ along the sequence of each substrate. As a property of biological organisms, the rate, extent and location of genetic change has experienced natural selection. Thus, sites in the genome at which genetic variation would be most damaging are under pressure to evolve lower rates of mutation; conversely, exploration of sequence variation may be increased at certain locations in the genome, as is seen in the immune system. Recognition signals can target genetic exploration to sequences that genomes have “learned”, through natural selection, have the highest potential to yield new functions. The efficiency with which populations of organisms adapt to novel environments falls under natural selection, and has evolved. Genome-encoded information that modulates the rate of genetic variation can be found in the sequences of introns and intergenic regions. In addition, because the genetic code is degenerate, information can evolve within protein coding regions to modulate the probability of genetic variation at sites within a gene.

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