Document Detail

Robustness and evolvability.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20598394     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Why isn't random variation always deleterious? Are there factors that sometimes make adaptation easier? Biological systems are extraordinarily robust to perturbation by mutations, recombination and the environment. It has been proposed that this robustness might make them more evolvable. Robustness to mutation allows genetic variation to accumulate in a cryptic state. Switching mechanisms known as evolutionary capacitors mean that the amount of heritable phenotypic variation available can be correlated to the degree of stress and hence to the novelty of the environment and remaining potential for adaptation. There have been two somewhat separate literatures relating robustness to evolvability. One has focused on molecular phenotypes and new mutations, the other on morphology and cryptic genetic variation. Here, we review both literatures, and show that the true distinction is whether recombination rates are high or low. In both cases, the evidence supports the claim that robustness promotes evolvability.
Joanna Masel; Meredith V Trotter
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Review     Date:  2010-07-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Trends in genetics : TIG     Volume:  26     ISSN:  0168-9525     ISO Abbreviation:  Trends Genet.     Publication Date:  2010 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-23     Completed Date:  2010-09-08     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8507085     Medline TA:  Trends Genet     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  406-14     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona PO Box 210088, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Biological
Evolution, Molecular*
Recombination, Genetic*
Grant Support

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