What is the molecular clock Please give a brief explanation of how it works?

What is molecular clock concept?

The molecular clock hypothesis states that DNA and protein sequences evolve at a rate that is relatively constant over time and among different organisms. … This is of particular value when studying organisms that have left few traces of their biological history in the fossil record, such as flatworms and viruses.

What is a molecular clock and how are they used in phylogenetic analysis?

Molecular clocks enable the time of divergence of ancestral sequences to be estimated. When we carry out a phylogenetic analysis our primary objective is to infer the pattern of the evolutionary relationships between the DNA sequences that are being compared.

Is molecular clock reliable?

Molecular clocks in general are much more “erratic” than previously thought, and practically useless to keep accurate evolutionary time, the researchers conclude. They attribute this to the vagaries of natural selection, which may at times constrain specific genetic mutations in certain lineages.

What are the characteristics of a good molecular clock?

An ideal molecular clock has a number of features: rate constancy through time, rate homogeneity across lineages, taxonomic breadth and applicability, and accessibility of the data. Characters that have evolved at a relatively constant rate are the most suitable for molecular clocks.

What affects the rate of mutation in a molecular clock?

Every time the genome is copied, there is a small chance of an error that changes the base sequence. So the mutation rate due to copy errors is determined by both the rate of error per copy and the number of copies made per unit time. Both of these factors may be influenced by species biology.

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