Mutation and evolution: Conceptual possibilities

Adi Livnat, Alan C. Love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although random mutation is central to models of evolutionary change, a lack of clarity remains regarding the conceptual possibilities for thinking about the nature and role of mutation in evolution. We distinguish several claims at the intersection of mutation, evolution, and directionality and then characterize a previously unrecognized category: complex conditioned mutation. Empirical evidence in support of this category suggests that the historically famous fluctuation test should be revisited, and new experiments should be undertaken with emerging experimental techniques to facilitate detecting mutation rates within specific loci at an ultra-high, individual base pair resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2300025
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. BioEssays published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • directed mutation
  • interaction-based evolution
  • Lamarckism
  • modifier theory
  • random mutation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Mutation and evolution: Conceptual possibilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this