What Determines the Rate of Evolution?

  title={What Determines the Rate of Evolution?},
  author={J. Maynard Smith},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={331 - 338}
  • J. M. Smith
  • Published 1 May 1976
  • Biology
  • The American Naturalist
A new type of genetic load, the "lag load," is defined; it measures the extent to which a population is lagging behind the contemporary environment. An expression is obtained for the rate of evolution of a haploid sexual population as a function of the lag load, population size, per locus mutation rate, and selective advantage per favorable mutation. 

Evolution, population dynamics, and stability: a comment.

Measures of the efficiency of natural selection during gene substitution.

  • H. A. Orr
  • Biology, Economics
    Journal of theoretical biology
  • 2019

Limits to natural selection

  • N. BartonL. Partridge
  • Biology
    BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology
  • 2000
It is argued that adaptation depends on how the various evolutionary processes shape variation in populations, and the limits that population genetics places on adaptive evolution are surveyed.

Population Extinction and the Genetics of Adaptation

This work derives simple, though approximate, solutions to the probability of successful adaptation (population survival) when adaptation involves new mutations, the standing genetic variation, or a mixture of the two.

Microbial populations under selection

A model of a host-pathogen system where the population of pathogenes experiences balancing selection, migration, and mutation, as motivated by observations of the genetic diversity of HCMV (the human cytomegalovirus) across hosts is described.

Analysis of Rates of Morphologic Evolution

This work states that rates of morphological evolution exist at several hierarchical levels and have been measured variously as factors of exponential change over time, or have been scaled for comparison according to sample standard deviations.

Linkage and the limits to natural selection.

Hitchhiking due to all three kinds of selection may substantially impede adaptation that depends on weakly favored alleles, especially if selection at other loci causes inherited variation in fitness.

Population‐level consequences of polymorphism, plasticity and randomized phenotype switching: a review of predictions

A broader approach is taken and predictions regarding several population‐level consequences of phenotypic variation stemming from genetic polymorphism, developmental plasticity or randomized phenotype switching are compared.

Studying models of balancing selection using phase-type theory

For long-term balancing selection, it is shown that selection targets with equilibrium allele frequencies close to 50% are easier to detect than targets with unequal allele frequencies, and the target is also easier to identify after a population size reduction.



Two modes of evolution

IN some ways mammals evolve much faster than most other animals. In other ways however it now seems that they evolve at the standard rate. This dichotomy is quite unexpected, but seems post facto to

Evolution in Sexual and Asexual Populations

The evolution of diploidy from haploidy confers an immediate reduction in the mutation load by concealment of deleterious recessives, but this advantage is lost once a new equilibrium is reached and the development of diPloidy may be because of an immediate advantage rather than because of any permanent benefit.

Evolution in Sexual and Asexual Populations: A Reply

The main point of Muller's papers, and the one on which it was elaborated, is the value of recombination in putting together rare advantageous genes that occur in separate individuals, and there is exactly the same rate of change with recombination as without it.

On the evolutionary effect of recombination.

Some Genetic Aspects of Sex

FPROM the genetic point of view it is advantageous to begin by considering sex in the broader sense of sexuality. It is not generally realized that genetics has finally solved the age-old problem of

The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection

Although it is true that most text-books of genetics open with a chapter on biometry, closer inspection will reveal that this has little connexion with the body of the work, and that more often than not it is merely belated homage to a once fashionable study.