Faculty Publications

Title

Differences in rate of cytochrome-b evolution among species of rodents

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Cytochrome-b, Evolutionary rate heterogeneity, Nonsynonymous substitution, Relative-rate test

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Mammalogy

Volume

82

Issue

1

First Page

65

Last Page

80

Abstract

Although molecular evolution often appears to proceed in a clocklike fashion, examples to the contrary are increasing in number. Our study compares rate of cytochrome-b evolution in 21 rodent species, each of which belongs to a different genus. In these comparisons, substitutions at synonymous sites appear to be saturated, precluding inferences about rate of synonymous substitution. Rate of nonsynonymous substitution differs significantly among many of the rodents studied. However, the cause or causes of these differences in substitution rate remains in question. Differences in generation time, body size, or metabolic rate do not seem to be associated with rate of nonsynonymous substitution in these rodents. Effective population size remains a viable explanation of the observed rate heterogeneity. However, we suggest that a search for simple causes of differences in rate of molecular evolution may be difficult in light of numerous aspects of an organism's biology that may together influence evolutionary rates over space and time.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2001

DOI of published version

10.1644/1545-1542(2001)082<0065:DIROCB>2.0.CO;2

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