Motoo Kimura and James crow on the infinitely many alleles model

Warren J. Ewens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

3 Citations (Scopus)


Kimura and Crow’s 1964 article is justly regarded as one of the foundational articles of evolutionary molecular genetics. It is based on what they called the “infinite alleles” model (now called the “infinitely many alleles” model). This model was motivated by the recognition that a gene is a sequence of perhaps several thousand nucleotides, implying that an astronomically large number of alleles (equal to nucleotide sequences) is possible at any locus. In the later sections of their article Kimura and Crow discuss aspects of this model when selection exists. However, the theory for this case is still unresolved and here only the first section, which in any event has been by far the most influential section, is discussed. In that section only selectively neutral alleles (“isoalleles”) were considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1245
Number of pages3
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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