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Revue de presse

Overall, this is a fascinating piece of science and an impressive amount of work, thematically broad but still remarkably synthetic and focused in each of its sections. As a masters student I learned molecular evolution largely thanks to Nei's (1987) Molecular Evolutionary Genetics. I would warmly recommend this update to 21st century students, if only for its clarity and originality. (Nicolas Galtier, Systematic Biology)

Présentation de l'éditeur

The purpose of this book is to present a new mechanistic theory of mutation-driven evolution based on recent advances in genomics and evolutionary developmental biology. The theory asserts, perhaps somewhat controversially, that the driving force behind evolution is mutation, with natural selection being of only secondary importance. The word 'mutation' is used to describe any kind of change in DNA such as nucleotide substitution, gene duplication/deletion, chromosomal change, and genome duplication. A brief history of the principal evolutionary theories (Darwinism, mutationism, neo-Darwinism, and neo-mutationism) that preceded the theory of mutation-driven evolution is also presented in the context of the last 150 years of research. However, the core of the book is concerned with recent studies of genomics and the molecular basis of phenotypic evolution, and their relevance to mutation-driven evolution. In contrast to neo-Darwinism, mutation-driven evolution is capable of explaining real examples of evolution such as the evolution of olfactory receptors, sex-determination in animals, and the general scheme of hybrid sterility. In this sense the theory proposed is more realistic than its predecessors, and gives a more logical explanation of various evolutionary events. Mutation-Driven Evolution is suitable for graduate level students as well as professional researchers (both empiricists and theoreticians) in the fields of molecular evolution and population genetics. It assumes that the readers are acquainted with basic knowledge of genetics and molecular biology.


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8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Must Read for Anyone Interested in Evolutionary Biology 21 octobre 2013
Par anonymous - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Every so often, a new idea is put forth to explain the underlying causes of evolution. Mostly, these ideas are not very earth-shattering, and typically they are very specific and applicable only to the problem at hand. The ideas put forth in this book are quite the opposite: together they form the basis of a new theory of mutation-driven evolution that eloquently explains “real examples”. If you want to be challenged to think about the underlying causes of evolution, and not simply be content to be spoon-fed dogma that has pervaded the literature, then this book is a must read for you. It flows well, and the examples provided are clearly and concisely explained. It will be of great value to graduate students and established researchers, but even those who have only taken undergraduate courses in evolutionary biology will appreciate this book. If you want to gain a true appreciation for how evolution “works”, then I highly recommend you buy and read this book.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
How adaptive evolution works 25 octobre 2013
Par K. M. Weiss - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The author is one of the major figures in the theory and analysis of molecular evolution of the last half of the 20th century. This book reflects his remarkable memory of that history and its major ideas about how complex adaptive traits evolve. Nei challenges the often automatic assumption that such traits are due to `selection' rather than mutation. The prevailing idea has been that there's always enough standing variation for selection to screen to enable new adaptations to occur. But Nei explains his challenge to that idea, that new adaptations for complex traits must await `constraint breaking' mutations that enable new pathways out of entrenched developmental systems. He also provides a more fluid view of species' options, a challenge to the view that they are all very tightly fitted, and adaptively restricted, to highly specialized niches. These ideas in various forms can be found in the biological literature, but not as cohesively argued as a general theory about the nature of adaptive evolution. The ideas deserve both the airing Nei gives them and the debate that may follow by those who would challenge them.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Possibly overstated - but great! Textbooks must change. 16 février 2014
Par Howard Robbins - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Nei begins his Chapter 6 by saying: "In the study of evolution the following question is often asked: what is the relative importance of mutation and natural selection? In my view this is not an appropriate question, because the roles of mutation and selection are qualitatively different."

However, the theme of his book is that mutation is primary, although he says at one point that "Of course, this does not mean that natural selection is unimportant".

His arguments are strong, and textbooks must change. But neo-Darwinian concepts still have some relevance.

After a major meteor strike, intense selection occurred before "lucky" new mutations could make a difference. The same was probably true for lesser catastrophes, if not too local or transitory.

Whenever the environment changes quickly, the first response is probably via selection, and mutations that eliminate functions not needed in the new environment. Favorable new mutations have low probability, and therefore come later. This may apply to Founders, if they are poorly adapted to their new environment but have little competition, except from each other. Not every fish that enters a cave survives to breed!

Favorable mutations can upset stability. Is this relevant for punctuated equilibrium (not mentioned in his index)?
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