Molecular Evolution: Neutral Theory
Published Online: 21 DEC 2007
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Takahata, N. 2007. Molecular Evolution: Neutral Theory. eLS. .
- Published Online: 21 DEC 2007
The neutral theory is shorthand for the theory that at the molecular level evolutionary changes and polymorphisms are mainly due to selectively neutral mutations; thus, their behaviour and fate are determined by mutation and random drift. The theory explains polymorphism as a transient phase of molecular evolution, and demands a dichotomy between molecular and phenotypic evolution.
- natural selection;
- population genetics;
- selective constraint