Convergent evolution: the need to be explicit

Trends Biochem Sci. 1994 Jan;19(1):15-8. doi: 10.1016/0968-0004(94)90167-8.


Convergence as a phenomenon in molecular evolution is an issue that confuses many discussions. Often the problem is that not enough care is taken to state exactly what kind of convergence one has in mind. Functional and mechanistic convergence are both common, and some structural convergence has probably occurred, but a convincing case for genuine sequence convergence has yet to be made.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Gene Products, env / genetics
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • HLA-B Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics
  • Properdin / genetics
  • Protein Precursors / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Thrombospondins


  • Gene Products, env
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp160
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Protein Precursors
  • Thrombospondins
  • Properdin