## Abstract

A formal mathematical analysis of Kimura's (1981) six-parameter model of nucleotide substitution for the case of unequal substitution rates among different pairs of nucleotides is conducted, and new formulae for estimating the number of nucleotide substitutions and its standard error are obtained. By using computer simulation, the validities and utilities of Jukes and Cantor's (1969) one-parameter formula, Takahata and Kimura's (1981) four-parameter formula, and our sixparameter formula for estimating the number of nucleotide substitutions are examined under three different schemes of nucleotide substitution. It is shown that the one-parameter and four-parameter formulae often give underestimates when the number of nucleotide substitutions is large, whereas the six-parameter formula generally gives a good estimate for all the three substitution schemes examined. However, when the number of nucleotide substitutions is large, the six-parameter and four-parameter formulae are often inapplicable unless the number of nucleotides compared is extremely large. It is also shown that as long as the mean number of nucleotide substitutions is smaller than one per nucleotide site the three formulae give more or less the same estimate regardless of the substitution scheme used.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 414-422 |

Number of pages | 9 |

Journal | Journal of Molecular Evolution |

Volume | 18 |

Issue number | 6 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Nov 1982 |

Externally published | Yes |

## Keywords

- Evolutionary distance
- Molecular evolution
- Nucleotide substitution

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Genetics
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology