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Epigenetic or organismal complexity maybe the most important factor in determining maximum genetic diversity

Posted by ShiHuang on 14 Sep 2012 at 02:26 GMT

In 2008, we proposed the Maximum Genetic Diversity (MGD) hypothesis to give a more complete account of major evolutionary phenomena. The key difference between MGD and the popular modern evolutionary theory is that one considers genetic diversity today to be mostly at optimum level while the other treats it as still increasing with time indefinitely. The MGD has for the first time solved the mystery of the genetic equidistance result of Margoliash in 1963, which originally mis-inspired the molecular clock and in turn the neutral theory (Huang, 2010, 2012). The neutral theory is however fine for the linear phase of microevolution where genetic diversity/distance is linearly related to time. The MGD has proven useful in solving real world puzzles of the genetic basis of complex traits and diseases (Yuan et al. 2012).


Huang, S. (2010) The overlap feature of the genetic equidistance result, a fundamental biological phenomenon overlooked for nearly half of a century. Biological Theory, 5: 40-52.

Huang, S. (2012) Primate phylogeny: molecular evidence for a pongid clade excluding humans and a prosimian clade containing tarsiers. Sci. China Life Sci. 55: 709-725

Yuan, D., Zhu, Z., Tan, X., Liang, J., Zeng, C., Zhang, J., Chen, J., Ma, L., Dogan, A., Brockmann, G., Goldmann, G., Medina, E., Rice, A.D., Moyer, R.W., Man, X., Yi, K., Li, Y., Lu, Q., Huang, Y., Wang, D., Yu, J., Guo, H., Xia, K., and Huang, S. (2012) Minor alleles of common SNPs quantitatively affect traits/diseases and are under both positive and negative selection. arXiv:1209.2911[q-bio.GN]. (

No competing interests declared.