Selection acting on genomes

Carolin Kosiol*, Maria Anisimova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Populations evolve as mutations arise in individual organisms and, through hereditary transmission, may become “fixed” (shared by all individuals) in the population. Most mutations are lethal or have negative fitness consequences for the organism. Others have essentially no effect on organismal fitness and can become fixed through the neutral stochastic process known as random drift. However, mutations may also produce a selective advantage that boosts their chances of reaching fixation. Regions of genomes where new mutations are beneficial, rather than neutral or deleterious, tend to evolve more rapidly due to positive selection. Genes involved in immunity and defense are a well-known example; rapid evolution in these genes presumably occurs because new mutations help organisms to prevail in evolutionary “arms races” with pathogens. In recent years genome-wide scans for selection have enlarged our understanding of the genome evolution of various species. In this chapter, we will focus on methods to detect selection on the genome. In particular, we will discuss probabilistic models and how they have changed with the advent of new genome-wide data now available.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolutionary genomics
Subtitle of host publicationstatistical and computational methods
EditorsMaria Anisimova
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781493990740
ISBN (Print)9781493990733
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2019

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Codon models
  • Conserved and accelerated regions
  • Polymorphism-aware phylogenetic models
  • Positive selection scans
  • Selection-mutation models


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