Neutral networks of genotypes: evolution behind the Curtain = Redes neutras de genotipos: evolución en la trastienda Articles uri icon

published in

publication date

  • November 2010

start page

  • 1051

end page

  • 1064


  • 746


  • 186

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0210-1963

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1988-303X


  • Our understanding of the evolutionary process has gone a long way since the publication, 150 years ago, of "On the origin of species" by Charles R. Darwin. The XXth Century witnes-sed great efforts to embrace replication, mutation, and selection within the framework of a formal theory, able eventually to predict the dynamics and fate of evolving populations. However, a large body of empirical evidence collected over the last decades strongly suggests that some of the assumptions of those classical models necessitate a deep revision. The viability of organisms is not dependent on a unique and optimal genotype. The discovery of huge sets of genotypes (or neutral networks) yielding the same phenotype &-in the last term the same organism&-, reveals that, most likely, very different functional solutions can be found, accessed and fixed in a population through low-cost exploration of the space of genomes. The "evolution behind the curtain' may be the answer to some of the current puzzles that evolutionary theory faces, like the fast speciation process that is observed in the fossil record after very long stasis periods.


  • Biology and Biomedicine


  • red neutra; correspondencia fenotipo-genotipo; redundancia; adaptación; paisaje de fitness; neutral network; genotype-phenotype map; redundancy; adaptation; fitness landscape