Revising the human mutation rate: implications for understanding human evolution

Nat Rev Genet. 2012 Oct;13(10):745-53. doi: 10.1038/nrg3295. Epub 2012 Sep 11.


It is now possible to make direct measurements of the mutation rate in modern humans using next-generation sequencing. These measurements reveal a value that is approximately half of that previously derived from fossil calibration, and this has implications for our understanding of demographic events in human evolution and other aspects of population genetics. Here, we discuss the implications of a lower-than-expected mutation rate in relation to the timescale of human evolution.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Comprehension
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Speciation
  • Geography
  • Hominidae / genetics
  • Humans / genetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation Rate*
  • Neanderthals / genetics
  • Phylogeny


  • DNA, Mitochondrial