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Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory

Selected Papers

Edited and with Introductory Essays by Naoyuki Takahata
One of this century’s leading evolutionary biologists, Motoo Kimura revolutionized the field with his random drift theory of molecular evolution—the neutral theory—and his groundbreaking theoretical work in population genetics. This volume collects 57 of Kimura’s most important papers and covers forty years of his diverse and original contributions to our understanding of how genetic variation affects evolutionary change.

Kimura’s neutral theory, first presented in 1968, challenged the notion that natural selection was the sole directive force in evolution. Arguing that mutations and random drift account for variations at the level of DNA and amino acids, Kimura advanced a theory of evolutionary change that was strongly challenged at first and that eventually earned the respect and interest of evolutionary biologists throughout the world. This volume includes the seminal papers on the neutral theory, as well as many others that cover such topics as population structure, variable selection intensity, the genetics of quantitative characters, inbreeding systems, and reversibility of changes by random drift.

Background essays by Naoyuki Takahata examine Kimura’s work in relation to its effects and recent developments in each area.

704 pages | 1 halftone, 137 line drawings | 6-5/8 x 9-3/8 | © 1994

Biological Sciences: Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

1 "Stepping Stone" Model of Population
2 Process leading to quasi-fixation of genes in natural populations due to random fluctuation of selection intensities
3 Solution of a process of random genetic drift with a continuous model
4 Stochastic processes and distribution of gene frequencies under natural selection
5 A model of a genetic system which leads to closer linkage by natural selection
6 Some problems of stochastic processes in genetics
7 On the change of population fitness by natural selection
8 Optimum mutation rate and degree of dominance as determined by the principle of minimum genetic load
9 Natural selection as the process of accumulating genetic information in adaptive evolution
10 The maintenance of supernumerary chromosomes in wild populations of _Lilium callosum_ by preferential segregation
11 On the probability of fixation of mutant genes in a population
12 A probability method for treating inbreeding systems, especially with linked genes
13 On the maximum avoidance of inbreeding
14 The number of alleles that can be maintained in a finite population
15 The stepping stone model of population structure and the decrease of genetic correlation with distance
16 Diffusion models in population genetics
17 A stochastic model concerning the maintenance of genetic variability in quantitative characters
18 Attainment of quasi linkage equilibrium when gene frequencies are changing by natural selection
19 Evolution in sexual and asexual populations
20 The mutational load with epistatic gene interactions in fitness
21 On the evolutionary adjustment of spontaneous mutation rates
22 Evolutionary rate at the molecular level
23 Genetic variability maintained in a finite population due to mutational production of neutral and nearly neutral isoalleles
24 The average number of generations until fixation of a mutant gene in a finite population
25 The number of heterozygous nucleotide sites maintained in a finite population due to steady flux of mutations
26 The rate of molecular evolution considered from the standpoint of population genetics
27 The length of time required for a selectively neutral mutant to reach fixation through random frequency drift in a finite population
28 Development of associative overdominance through linkage disequilibrium in finite populations
29 Protein polymorphism as a phase of molecular evolution
30 Linkage disequilibrium between two segregating nucleotide sites under the steady flux of mutations in a finite population
31 Some methods for treating continuous stochastic processes in population genetics
32 Mutation and evolution at the molecular level
33 Eukaryotes-prodaryotes divergence estimated by 5S ribosomal RNA sequences
34 The age of a neutral mutant persisting in a finite population
35 A model of mutation appropriate to estimate the number of electrophoretically detectable alleles in a finite population
36 A note on the speed of gene frequency changes in reverse directions in a finite population
37 On some principles governing molecular evolution
38 Moments for sum of an arbitrary function of gene frequency along a stochastic path of gene frequency change
39 How genes evolve; a populations geneticist’s view
40 Preponderance of synonymous changes as evidence for the neutral theory of molecular evolution
41 Change of gene frequencies by natural selection under population number regulation
42 Effect of overall phenotypic selection on genetic change at individual loci
43 Efficiency of truncation selection
44 Fixation of a deleterious allele at one of two "duplicate" loci by mutation pressure and random drift
45 Population genetics of multigene family with special reference to decrease of genetic correlation with distance between gene members on a chromosome
46 A simple method for estimating evolutionary rates of base substitutions through comparative studies of nucleotide sequences
47 Genetic variability and effective population size when local extinction and recolonization of subpopulations are frequent
48 Estimation of evolutionary distances between homologous nucleotide sequences
49 Possibility of extensive neutral evolution under stabilizing selection with special reference to nonrandom usage of synocymous codons
50 A model of evolutionary base substitutions and its application with special reference to rapid change of pseudogenes
51 Selective constraint in protein polymorphism: Study of the effectively neutral mutation model by using an improved pseudosampling method.
52 Diffusion model of intergroup selection, with special reference to evolution of altruistic character
53 Rare variant alleles in the light of the neutral theory
54 Diffusion models in population genetics with special reference to fixation time of molecular mutants under mutational pressure.
55 DNA and the neutral theory
56 Molecular evolutionary clock and the neutral theory

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