Royal Society Publishing


The essence of evolution is change in the linear sequence of nucleotides of the DNA, giving, rise to altered or new genes and their corresponding products. It is these changes that determine the complex three-dimensional structure of proteins and their conglomerates. Thus, to seek an understanding of protein evolution we must first seek to understand evolution at the DNA level and the constraints that this may place on the evolution of protein structure. In this paper I shall review briefly some of the implications of recent advances in our knowledge of gene structure at the DNA level for the understanding of gene organization and its evolution (see also Bodmer 1981).