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Evolution: The Molecular Landscape

Cold Spring Harbor’s 74th Symposium
The Molecular Landscape
Edited by Bruce Stillman,
David Stewart, and
Jan Witkowski,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


Evolution Chapter 21 Discussion Questions

DQ 21.1

In the major transitions in evolution, independently replicating entities come together to produce a more complex organism. Give examples of such transitions, and explain how cooperation can evolve despite the potential for one partner to replicate at the expense of the other.

DQ 21.2

How can the harmful consequences of non-Mendelian transmission be suppressed? Why is inheritance in eukaryotes in fact usually Mendelian?

DQ 21.3

What is the evidence that most DNA, in most eukaryotes, has no function?

DQ 21.4

Why is a much larger fraction of the genome nonfunctional in eukaryotes compared with bacteria and archaea?

DQ 21.5

What is meant by inclusive fitness? Could an individual’s inclusive fitness be measured?

DQ 21.6

Often, long-term trends are seen in the fossil record. For example, the body size of a taxonomic group may tend to increase. Can such trends be explained by selection among species?

DQ 21.7

What is meant by social evolution in microbes?

DQ 21.8

Sewall Wright proposed his shifting balance theory of evolution to explain how species can evolve toward a global optimum, without being trapped at local fitness peaks. How can we tell whether the shifting balance operates in nature?

DQ 21.9

Does selection favor high rates of speciation? (See also Chapter 22.)


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