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Professor Adam Eyre-Walker

Co-director of the CSE

+44 (0)1273 678 480

5B20, JMS Building

Research Group

Manolis Ladoukakis (post-doc)
Jane Charlesworth (DPhil student)

Vini Pereira (post-doc)


Adam is currently on sabbatical at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (Nescent) in Durham, North Carolina . He will return to Sussex in September 2006. Adam's teaching duties have been taken over by Manolis Ladoukakis.


Software page

Adam's software to calculate the fitness effects of deleterious mutations is available from his software page.

The rates and effects of mutations

Mutations are the ultimate source of all genetic variation but until recently we had few estimates of how frequently mutations occurred or what their effects were. We have been addressing both of these problems using DNA sequence data. We have recently estimated minimum rates of harmful mutation in a range of animal species, including our own. We have also been attempting to estimate the rate of adaptive amino acid substitution and the proportion of mutations which are slightly deleterious.



The evolution of isochores

Base composition varies along mammalian chromosomes over very large scales of hundreds of kilobases. This structure has been called the isochore structure of the genome. The origins of this structure remain unclear. It has been suggested that it might be a consequence of neutral processes, either mutation bias or biased gene conversion, or natural selection. We have been using a variety of approaches to test whether the structure is being actively maintained, and if it is, what process is responsible for its maintainence.



Recombination in mitochondria

It is generally thought that mitochondria are solely inherited from one parent, usually the male, in higher plants and animals, and that mtDNA is clonally inherited without recombination. We have been attempting to test whether recombination occurs in mtDNA in a variety of animals, including humans.




Molecular ecology and evolution




Selected publications


Piganeau, G.V. & Eyre-Walker, A. (2003) Estimating the distribution
of fitness effects from DNA sequence data: implications for the
m olecular clock. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 10335-10340.

Smith, NGC, Eyre-Walker A (2003) Partitioning the variation in mammalian substitution rates. Molecular Biology and Evolution 20: 10-17. PDF

Eyre-Walker, A. (2002) Changing effective population size and the
McDonald-Kreitman test. Genetics 162, 2017-2024. PDF

Eyre-Walker A, Keightley PD, Smith NGC, Gaffney D (2002) Quantifying the slightly deleterious model of molecular evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution Mol. Biol. Evol. 19, 2142-2149. PDF

Smith NGC, Eyre-Walker A (2002) Adaptive protein evolution in Drosophila. Nature 415:1022-1024. PDF

Belle EMS, Eyre-Walker A (2002) A test of whether selection maintains isochores using sites polymorphic for Alu and L1 elements. Genetics 160:815-817. PDF

Smith NGC, Eyre-Walker A (2001) Synonymous codon bias is not caused by mutation bias in G+C rich genes in humans. Molecular Biology and Evolution 18:982-986. PDF

Keightley PD, Eyre-Walker A (2000) Deleterious mutations and the evolution of sex. Science 290: 331-333. PDF

Awadalla P, Eyre-Walker A., Maynard Smith J. (1999) Linkage disequilibrium and recombination in hominid mitochondrial DNA. Science 286: 2524-2525. PDF

Eyre-Walker A, Keightley PD (1999) High genomic deleterious mutation rates in hominids. Nature 397: 344-347. PDF

Eyre-Walker A (1998) Problems with parsimony in sequences of biased base composition. Journal of Molecular Evolution 47: 686-690. PDF

Eyre-Walker A (1993). Recombination and genome evolution in mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 252: 237-243.




Complete publication list




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