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DNA vs amino acid sequences

JAMES O. MCINERNEY James.Mcinerney at UCG.IE
Tue Jun 13 11:09:31 EST 1995


One of the most compelling reasons for using amino acid sequences instead of 
DNA sequences for drawing trees is convergences of codon usage.  The third 
position of most codons is redundant for all intensive purposes.  A mutation
at this position does not change the encoded amino acid (note I said MOST).
In general mutations accumulate at this position with a higher frequency than other positions.  It is possible that two organisms/genes that are not so closely
related and have independently *acquired* the same codon preferences will
show a greater degree of similarity than they should.  The bias in preference
at the third position (and to a lesser extent the first position) is masked
by using amino acid sequences.

Hope I'm right..  :-)


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