Population Size Does Not Influence Mitochondrial Genetic Diversity in Animals

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Science  28 Apr 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5773, pp. 570-572
DOI: 10.1126/science.1122033

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  • Response to E-Letter by Foltz and Rand
    • E. Bazin,
    • Other Contributors:

    Response to Foltz and Rand

    Foltz and Rand argue that the lack of relationship between mtDNA diversity and population size we report is due to the irrelevance of the population size indicators we use and to the fact that distantly related species are compared. They propose to focus on closely related species differing by only one ecological variable and list a number of such studies in which mtDNA diversity beha...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Response to E-Letter by Hickey et al.

    Response to Hickey et al.

    We interpreted the lack of relationship between species abundance and within-species mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity as a consequence of recurrent adaptive evolution in mitochondrial genomes. Hickey et al. criticize this explanation on two grounds. They argue that the higher level of nucleotide diversity in mtDNA, as compared with nuclear DNA, is not consistent with the hypothesis...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Mitochondrial DNA Diversity and Population Size

    The Report by E. Bazin et al. that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity is uncorrelated with either nuclear DNA diversity or allozymic heterozygosity (“Population size does not influence mitochondrial genetic diversity in animals,” 28 Apr., p. 570) raises questions about the suitability of mtDNA sequences as markers for conservation and population biology studies. We suggest that their ecological comparisons (such as fre...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Mitochondrial Nucleotide Diversity and Population Size

    In their Report “Population size does not influence mitochondrial genetic diversity in animals” (28 Apr., p. 570), E. Bazin et al. show that the nucleotide diversity of animal mitochondrial genomes is independent of population size. The authors propose that these sequences are subject to repeated selective sweeps that propagate adaptive mutations within the population while, at the same time, causing fixation of neutral va...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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