VI.2.4 Molecular drive-induced changes in the genome can affect many individuals in the population simultaneously.

The entire process of molecular drive occurs somewhere deep at the molecular level and thus lies partly outside our field of attention. Thus, it might seem that this process is not biologically very important. However, the situation may be somewhat different. Common mutations affect only individuals in the population. The fate of an isolated mutation is frequently decided more by chance than by its biological properties. In contrast molecular drive - induced changes in the genome affect many individuals in the population almost simultaneously (synchronously). This is as if all the members of the population were to mutate simultaneously in the same way. If a mutation proliferated in the population by molecular drive is also manifested in some way in the phenotype, then the same change in the phenotype will occur almost simultaneously in a large number of individuals of the given species, so that some authors speak of this as synchronized, concerted or coincidental evolution (Dover 1986). If the proliferation of a certain mutation is assisted by molecular drive, then evolution fixation of the new evolutionary trait is far more probable than if it were to occur only through the action of selection or genetic drift.

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more
Draft translation from: Evoluční biologie, 2. vydání (Evolutionary biology, 2nd edition), J. Flegr, Academia Prague 2009. The translation was not done by biologist, therefore any suggestion concerning proper scientific terminology and language usage are highly welcomed. You can send your comments to flegratcesnet [dot] cz. Thank you.