Evolutionary divergence of AP-PCR (RAPD) patterns.

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Rates at which AP-PCR patterns diverge among isolated taxa were examined to test whether they exhibit clocklike regularity. The results showed that rates of divergence differed significantly among the groups examined (primates, antelopes, and Hawaiian Drosophila grimshawi). Therefore, AP-PCR divergence rates cannot be used as a "universal clock" with an invariant rate in all animals. Nevertheless, within each group, a strong relationship existed between degree of AP-PCR pattern divergence and time since separation of isolated taxa. Thus, AP-PCR divergence may prove useful for dating evolutionary events if calibrated within a more limited taxon.

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