Evolution of evolvability

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999 May 18;870:146-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1999.tb08874.x.


Genomic sequence data provide evidence for a common origin of life and for its evolution by genetic variation via mutation and recombination. This paper discusses the fundamental dialectic paradigm of evolution--stability versus variability--at the crossroads of molecular genetics, population genetics, ecology, and the emerging science of experimental evolution. Experimental evolution of molecules, viruses, and bacteria can be used not only to test some basic evolutionary hypotheses but also to create new organisms for applications in biotechnology, agriculture, and medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological
  • Animals
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Biological Evolution
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Recombination, Genetic