UNIT 9.7 The Continuous Evolution In Vitro Technique

  1. Carolina Díaz Arenas,
  2. Niles Lehman

Published Online: 1 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0471142700.nc0907s40

Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

How to Cite

Arenas, C. D. and Lehman, N. 2010. The Continuous Evolution In Vitro Technique. Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry. 40:9.7:9.7.1–9.7.16.

Author Information

  1. Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: MAR 2010


In vitro experimentation techniques were developed in response to the necessity of exploring new molecular structures and functions and to better understand evolutionary phenomena that shape organismal and molecular populations. The advancement of these techniques has allowed further exploration of more complicated evolutionary dynamics. One such technique is the continuous evolution in vitro (CE) method, to which this unit is devoted. The CE method is characterized by continuous cycles of amplification of RNA molecules that occur without much participation of the researcher. This feature allows us to evolve lineages in which the evolutionary phenomena occurring at the molecular level more closely mimic what happens in organismal populations in the present, or what may have happened in RNA populations during the RNA world stage of life. Curr. Protoc. Nucleic Acid Chem. 40:9.7.1-9.7.16. © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • evolution;
  • in vitro;
  • mutation;
  • RNA