What is the difference between then?I have read some jobs that describes analysis about mutations rates and another ones with evolutionary rates.I want to know the diferrence between then.


1 Answer 1


Mutation rate

A mutation rate is a rate at which mutation occur. It is typically expressed as number of mutations per site (per nucleotide) per reproduction event. In humans, the average mutation rate per site per reproduction is of the order of $10^{-8}$.

When a mutation occurs, it will exist in only one copy in the population. This mutations might, over time, reach a higher frequency and even eventually reach a frequency of 1.0 (we talk about "fixation" then) but most mutations will never reach a high frequency and just disappear in the coming few generations whether or not the selection was deleterious.

Evolutionary rate

The term "evolution rate" has no commonly agreed upon definition. Depending upon your definition the mutation rate will be more or less correlated with the evolutionary rate.

Phenotypic evolutionary rate

Evolution rate might refer to phenotypic evolution. The Darwin (named after Charles Darwin, obviously) is a common unit to measure phenotypic evolution. Other unit of evolutionary rate could consist at measuring how much time it take for the mean phenotypic trait to change by one standard deviation of the original phenotypic distribution.

Genetic evolutionary rate

One can also consider genetic measure of evolutionary rate such as the number of neutral substitutions in a lineage per unit of time. With this definition, the difference between the mutation rate and the evolutionary rate become a little more blurry as the expected substitution rate at neutral site is equal to the mutation rate.

Always cite your source!

You say

I have read some jobs that describes analysis

Please, always include your source. There is no way to give any information about what they mean by these terms without having a look at the original paper.

Related post

The post Are we “more evolved” than present-day bacteria? is somewhat related.


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