The evolution of genes occurs with the alteration of nucleotide sequences when random accidents and errors occur through the storage and copying of genetic information. This is known as the creation of mutations. So, when a cell divides, its daughter cells often do not resemble each other or their parent exactly. There are three types of errors that may occur, per Alberts et al.:
The cycle of error and trial repeats endlessly, with mutation and natural selection an ongoing theme. Genetic specifications of organisms change over time, allowing them to exploit their environment more effectively. Some parts of a genome are more susceptible to change than other parts. When a segment of DNA is not responsible for coding for protein and has no significant regulatory role, it is essentially free to change at a rate that is virtually unlimited. On the other hand, when a gene has an essential role of coding for a highly optimized essential protein, the results of change are entirely different. Mistakes that occur in this second case usually result in the elimination of faulty cells. Genes of this second type are known as highly conserved genes. Highly conserved genes provide much insight into the family relationships between organisms in the tree of life (Alberts et al. 2014).
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