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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: E-mail: syokoya@emory.edu.

Associate editor: Stuart Newfeld

Comments by D. Stokes and R. Yokoyama are greatly appreciated.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01EY016400) and Emory University.


  • phenotypic adaptation
  • molecular adaptation
  • visual pigments
  • ancestral phenotypes

Synthetic Biology of Phenotypic Adaptation in Vertebrates: The Next Frontier


Journal Title:

Molecular Biology and Evolution


Volume 30, Number 7


, Pages 1495-1499

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


For over the last 2 decades, positively selected amino acid sites have been inferred almost exclusively by showing that the number of nonsynonymous substitutions per nonsynonymous site (dn) is greater than that of synonymous substitutions per synonymous site (ds). However, virtually none of these statistical results have been experimentally tested and remain as hypotheses. To perform such experimental tests, we must connect genotype and phenotype and relate the phenotypic changes to the environmental and behavioral changes of the organism. The genotype–phenotype relationship can be established only by synthesizing and manipulating “proper” ancestral phenotypes, whereas the actual functions of adaptive mutations can be learned by studying their chemical roles in phenotypic changes.

Copyright information:

© The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

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