Selection in Natural Populations

Paperback | March 23, 2000

byJeffry B. Mitton

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In 1974, Richard Lewontin published The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change, focusing enormous attention on protein variation as both a model of underlying genetic variation and a level of selection itself. In the twenty years since, scientific research has been shifted by the power ofmolecular biological techniques to explore the nature of variation directly at the DNA and gene levels. The "protein chapter" is coming to a close. In this book, Jeff Mitton explains the questions that geneticists hoped to answer by studying protein variation. He reviews the extensive literature onprotein variation, describes the successes and failures of the research program, and evaluates the results of a rich and controversial body of research. The laboratory and field studies using protein polymorphisms revealed dynamic interactions among genotypes, fitness differentials, and fluctuatingenvironmental conditions, and inadvertently wedded the fields of physiological ecology and population biology. Mitton's book is a useful analysis for all scientists interested in the genetic structure and evolution of populations.

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In 1974, Richard Lewontin published The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change, focusing enormous attention on protein variation as both a model of underlying genetic variation and a level of selection itself. In the twenty years since, scientific research has been shifted by the power ofmolecular biological techniques to explore the nat...

Jeffry B. Mitton, Professor, Department of Environmental Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 0.68 inPublished:March 23, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195137868

ISBN - 13:9780195137866

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Table of Contents

1. Natural Selection, Fitness Determination, and Molecular Variation2. Classes of Abundant Genetic Variation3. Environmental Heterogeneity and Enzyme Polymorphism4. The Impact of a Single Gene5. Patterns of Variation among Loci6. The Axis of Individual Heterozygosity: Theory7. The Axis of Individual Heterozygosity: Empirical Data8. Female Choice and Male Fitness9. Patterns among Species10. The Sisyphean Cycle11. Comments on Natural SelectionAppendix 1. Average Heterozygosity and Genetic Distance among SpeciesAppendix 2. Pascal Program for the Simulation of the Evolution of Female ChoiceAppendix 3. Heterozygosity and Maximum Lifetime FecundityBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Mitton summarizes many studies of protein and genetic variation, asking fundamental questions in evolutionary biology: What is the unit of selection? What role does the unit of selection play in the amount of genetic variation detected using protein electrophoretic studies versus studies thatdirectly examine DNA? How does selection impact the structure of the genome? What generalizations can be made about heterozygosity and multilocus interaction on fitness? . . . The book is mainly a summary of empirical data. Despite years of considerable effort by evolutionary biologists, there arevery few general answers to accompany the long lists of questions. . . . [T]he book . . . will probably be of interest to new graduate students in the field and will serve as an introduction to a wide range of examples and as a reference to the literature."--The Quarterly Review of Biology