ADAPTIVE CIS-REGULATORY CHANGES MAY INVOLVE FEW MUTATIONS
Article first published online: 18 AUG 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 65, Issue 11, pages 3332–3335, November 2011
How to Cite
Razeto-Barry, P. and Maldonado, K. (2011), ADAPTIVE CIS-REGULATORY CHANGES MAY INVOLVE FEW MUTATIONS. Evolution, 65: 3332–3335. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01412.x
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 18 AUG 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 22 JUL 2011 02:19AM EST
- Received April 17, 2011 , Accepted July 7 2011
- Molecular Evolution;
- Population Genetics
A long-standing debate in evo–devo research concerns the relative role of protein-coding and cis-regulatory regions in adaptation. Recent studies of genetic adaptation have revealed that the number of substitutions contributing to phenotypic variation is lower in cis-regulatory than in structural regions, which has led to the idea that cis-regulatory regions are less important in phenotypic adaptation. However, the number of substitutions is not the only important factor, the “size” of the adaptive contribution of these substitutions is important too. A geometrical reasoning predicts that, given their lesser pleiotropic effects, cis-regulatory substitutions should have a larger average adaptive contribution than protein-coding substitutions. Thus it is possible that even with a lower number of adaptive mutations, cis-regulatory regions may contribute at the same level or even more than protein-coding regions.