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Selection Operating on Protein-coding Genes in the Human Genome

  1. Diogo Meyer1,
  2. Eugene E Harris2,3

Published Online: 14 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020791



How to Cite

Meyer, D. and Harris, E. E. 2008. Selection Operating on Protein-coding Genes in the Human Genome. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Universidade de São Paulo, Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Brasil

  2. 2

    City University of New York, New York, USA

  3. 3

    Profesor Vistante, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 MAR 2008


The dominant selective force acting on protein-coding regions throughout the human genome is purifying selection, which removes deleterious mutations. The fraction of substitutions that were positively selected, and can therefore be considered to be adaptive, can be estimated using methods based on comparisons of the relative amounts of change at two classes of sites – sites which if changed produce amino acid changes and sites which if changed do not lead to amino acid changes. Current estimates find very low estimates of adaptive evolution in protein-coding regions during human evolution.


  • purifying selection;
  • adaptive evolution;
  • human evolution;
  • negative selection;
  • positive selection