Molecular Evolution, Functional Synthesis of

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Functional Synthesis uses molecular biology experiments to test evolutionary hypotheses derived from comparative sequence analyses. Work within the Functional Synthesis has determined the phenotypes of ancient proteins, the functional consequences of ancient amino acid replacements, the selective causes of ancient adaptations, the origins and consequences of molecular epistasis, the origins of novel phenotypes, and the mechanisms underlying gene duplication and functional divergence. The Functional Synthesis continues to be a powerful approach to exploring fundamental questions in evolutionary biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128004265
ISBN (Print)9780128000496
StatePublished - Apr 14 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation
  • Adaptive constraint
  • Adaptive landscape
  • Ancestral sequence reconstruction
  • Directed evolution
  • Dykhuizen-Hartl effect
  • Epistasis
  • Functional divergence
  • Functional synthesis
  • Functionalism
  • Gene duplication
  • Maximum parsimony
  • Opsins
  • Steroid receptors
  • Subfunctionalization
  • Visual pigments

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