Lecture 5 - Lecture 5 Molecular Evolution and Molecular...

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Lecture 5: Molecular Evolution and Molecular Clocks pp. 551, 575-577, 670-672,696-698 -The Genetic Code and Evolution DNA (sometimes RNA) is molecular basis for genes genes are critical for defining phenotypes DNA and related molecules are the focus of molecular evolution studies studies show evidence for evolution -Changes In Subunits Represent Evolutionary Change commonly studied molecules: DNA, RNA, Proteins (polypeptides) changes in these molecules represents molecular evolution DNA, RNA, Proteins are functionally linked provide different levels at which molecular evolution can be studied -Molecular Information Provides Set of Traits Not Available To Darwin this capability is important because: provides independent test of phylogenies constructed from fossils/other evidence. allows reconstruction of evolution patterns where fossils are missing/rare. provides, through the molecular clock, a mechanism of timing when evolutionary changes occurred. allows independent tests of predictions of evolutionary hypotheses. example: that life has few origins, is old, how genes evolve. -Using Biological Molecules to Reconstruct Phylogenetic Trees used to infer phylogenetic relationships among organisms they are the only source of information about relationships of ancient groups, like prokaryotes molecules that evolved slowly are useful in determining ancient lineage splits molecules that evolved rapidly are useful for determining recent splits -Determining/Comparing the Structure of Macromolecules biological molecules can be compared by aligning their sequences -How Do You Make a (Molecular) Phylogeny?
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