Nature Reviews Genetics 8, 619-631 (August 2007) | doi:10.1038/nrg2158

There is a Correspondence (November Issue 2007) and an Author's reply associated with this article.

Mutation rate variation in multicellular eukaryotes: causes and consequences

Charles F. Baer1, Michael M. Miyamoto1 & Dee R. Denver2  About the authors


A basic knowledge about mutation rates is central to our understanding of a myriad of evolutionary phenomena, including the maintenance of sex and rates of molecular evolution. Although there is substantial evidence that mutation rates vary among taxa, relatively little is known about the factors that underlie this variation at an empirical level, particularly in multicellular eukaryotes. Here we integrate several disparate lines of theoretical and empirical inquiry into a unified framework to guide future studies that are aimed at understanding why and how mutation rates evolve in multicellular species.

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA.
  2. Department of Zoology and Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA.

Correspondence to: Charles F. Baer1 Email:

Correspondence to: Dee R. Denver2 Email:


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