Molecular Evolution


Molecular evolution is the process by which molecules of living forms diverge from one another over time. The study of molecular evolution embraces the evolution of the molecules themselves, their origins, how they change from taxon to taxon, the effects of these changes on function, and the integration of the molecules in the biochemical pathways of an organism. It also infers phylogenetic relationships and contributes to the formulation of general principles of evolution at the molecular level.

Keywords: evolution; molecular evolution; taxonomy; gene; allele; DNA

Further Reading

Cooper DN (1999) Human Gene Evolution. Oxford: BIOS.

Gillespie JH (1991) The Causes of Molecular Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kimura M (1983) The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Li W‐H (1997) Molecular Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Li W‐H and Graur D (1991) Fundamentals of Molecular Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Nei M (1987) Molecular Evolutionary Genetics. New York: Columbia University Press.

Ridley M (1996) Evolution, 2nd edn. Cambridge: Blackwell Science.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Klein, Jan(Dec 2007) Molecular Evolution. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001795.pub2]