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k is expected to be larger than u

Posted by RonW on 14 Oct 2008 at 18:58 GMT

The observation that the base-pair substitution rate is higher than the mutation rate is expected if some mutant alleles arise not as single events, but as premeiotic clusters giving rise to two or more identical genetic changes (see discussions of this topic in Woodruff et al. 2005. Genetica 125: 333-339; Woodruff and Zhang. 2008. Journal of Heredity doi:10.1093/jhered/esno58). With premeiotic clusters (c), k is not equal to u, but k is equal to cu. Hence, the results in this article suggest that the average size of a cluster in penguins is about 1.6.