Whom to credit?

David Witherspoon dwithers at genetics.utah.edu
Mon Jun 17 12:39:27 EST 1996

I'm preparing a manuscript, and I'd like to give credit where it 
is due.  But I don't know where some ideas which are now second nature 
to molecular evolutionists were first aired.
  Who first published the idea that, when comparing homologous DNA 
sequences which have diverged under selection for the conservation of 
the function of an encoded protein, we should expect to see less 
variability at first and second positions of codons, but more at the 
third positions?  And, in the same situation, the similar idea that 
synonymous nucleotide differences (synonymous at the amino acid level) 
should be more frequent than nonsynonymous nucleotide differences 
(which alter the encoded amino acid)?
   The idea must have come up after the discovery of the genetic code 
and before the neutral theory became popular - I've only managed to 
trace it back to the beginnings of the neutral theory.  I'd appreciate 
any references from those who know the literature better than I do.


David Witherspoon.
dwithers at genetics.utah.edu

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