Codon usage divergence of homologous vertebrate genes and codon usage clock

J Mol Evol. 1991 Jan;32(1):6-15. doi: 10.1007/BF02099923.


This paper is concerned with the divergence of synonymous codon usage and its bias in three homologous genes within vertebrate species. Genetic distances among species are described in terms of synonymous codon usage divergence and the correlation is found between the genetic distances and taxonomic distances among species under study. A codon usage clock is reported in alpha-globin and beta-globin. A method is developed to define the synonymous codon preference bias and it is observed that the bias changes considerably among species.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Composition
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Codon*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Humans
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid*
  • Vertebrates / genetics*


  • Codon