Population size and molecular evolution on islands

Woolfit, Megan and Bromham, Lindell (2005) Population size and molecular evolution on islands. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 272 1578: 2277-2282. doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3217

Author Woolfit, Megan
Bromham, Lindell
Title Population size and molecular evolution on islands
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8452
Publication date 2005-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2005.3217
Volume 272
Issue 1578
Start page 2277
End page 2282
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Abstract The nearly neutral theory predicts that the rate and pattern of molecular evolution will be influenced by effective population size (Ne), because in small populations more slightly deleterious mutations are expected to drift to fixation. This important prediction has not been widely empirically tested, largely because of the difficulty of comparing rates of molecular evolution in sufficient numbers of independent lineages which differ only in Ne. Island endemic species provide an ideal test of the effect of Ne on molecular evolution because species restricted to islands frequently have smaller Ne than closely related mainland species, and island endemics have arisen from mainland lineages many times in a wide range of taxa. We collated a dataset of 70 phylogenetically independent comparisons between island and mainland taxa, including vertebrates, invertebrates and plants, from 19 different island groups. The rate of molecular evolution in these lineages was estimated by maximum likelihood using two measures: overall substitution rate and the ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rates. We show that island lineages have significantly higher ratios of non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rates than mainland lineages, as predicted by the nearly neutral theory, although overall substitution rates do not differ significantly.
Keyword Comparative method
Molecular evolution
Substitution rates
Effective population size
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Fri, 19 Dec 2008, 15:44:02 EST by Diana Guillemin on behalf of School of Biological Sciences