Evolving responsively: adaptive mutation

Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Jul;2(7):504-15. doi: 10.1038/35080556.


A basic principle of genetics is that the likelihood that a particular mutation occurs is independent of its phenotypic consequences. The concept of adaptive mutation seemed to challenge this principle with the discoveries of mutations stimulated by stress, some of which allow adaptation to the stress. The emerging mechanisms of adaptive genetic change cast evolution, development and heredity into a new perspective, indicating new models for the genetic changes that fuel these processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / physiology
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Mutation / physiology*
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology
  • Selection, Genetic*