Compositional constraints and genome evolution

J Mol Evol. 1986;24(1-2):1-11. doi: 10.1007/BF02099946.


Nucleotide sequences of all genomes are subject to compositional constraints that affect, to about the same extent, both coding and noncoding sequences; influence not only the structure and function of the genome, but also those of transcripts and proteins; are the result of environmental pressures; and largely control the fixation of mutations. These findings indicate that noncoding sequences are associated with biological functions; that the organismal phenotype comprises two components, the classical phenotype, corresponding to the "gene products," and a "genome phenotype," which is defined by the compositional constraints; and that natural selection plays a more important role in genome evolution than do random events.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Composition*
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Genes*
  • Mutation*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger