Large-scale search for genes on which positive selection may operate

Mol Biol Evol. 1996 May;13(5):685-90. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a025629.


We conducted a systematic search for the candidate genes on which positive selection may operate, on the premise that for such genes the number of nonsynonymous substitution is expected to be larger than that of synonymous substitutions when the nucleotide sequences of genes under investigation are compared with each other. By obtaining 3,595 groups of homologous sequences from the DDBJ, EMBL, and GenBank DNA sequence databases, we found that 17 gene groups can be the candidates for the genes on which positive selection may operate. Thus, such genes are found to occupy only about 0.5% of the vast number of gene groups so far available. Interestingly enough 9 out of the 17 gene groups were the surface antigens of parasites or viruses.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / genetics
  • Antigens, Protozoan / genetics
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Databases, Factual
  • Genes*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Sequence Alignment / methods*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Viral