Detecting the form of selection from DNA sequence data

Trends Genet. 2000 Dec;16(12):526-9. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(00)02141-7.


Clues to our evolutionary history lie hidden within DNA sequence data. One of the great challenges facing population geneticists is to identify and accurately interpret these clues. This task is made especially difficult by the fact that many different evolutionary processes can lead to similar observations. For example, low levels of polymorphism within a region can be explained by a low local mutation rate, by selection having eliminated deleterious mutations, or by the recent spread to fixation of a beneficial allele. Theoretical advances improve our ability to distinguish signals left by different evolutionary processes. In particular, a new test might better detect the footprint of selection having favored the spread of a beneficial allele.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Humans
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA*