Molecular Clocks & Generation Time

Ingrid Jakobsen ingrid at helios.anu.edu.au
Thu May 4 20:00:58 EST 1995

In article <3o9q5g$rl6 at owl.und.ac.za>, daceh at shrike.und.ac.za (Halford Dace) writes:
|> Just a brief addition to the molecular clock debate.  I don't know whether
|> it'll be useful or not.
|> It's probably worth bearing in mind that mutation rates per se probably
|> aren't that important - a mutation will only enter a population's gene
|> pool if it happens in a germ line cell.  I would think that this would
|> tend to `speed up' the molecular clocks of organisms with shorter
|> generatioal times, since more generations (ie more gametogenesis &
|> fertilizations) in a given period would allow more mutations to
|> accumulate, since the genes comprising the population's gene pool
|> would have spent a greater proportion of time as gametes.
|> I think the idea makes sense but I'm sure that there's a better way of
|> expressing it.

I'm not quite sure I understand Hal's idea, but if the significant part
of the argument is the proportion of time spent as gametes, surely the
mutation rate would be much higher in females of a species than males,
since gametogenesis takes place very early in females, while in males,
gametogenesis happens close to the time of fertilization. 


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