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molecular clock

Syllabification: mo·lec·u·lar clock

Definition of molecular clock in English:

noun

Genetics
The average rate at which a species' genome accumulates mutations, used to measure their evolutionary divergence and in other calculations.
Example sentences
  • Here, we discuss the usefulness and limitations of molecular clocks in studying avian evolution, with emphasis on the use of an accurate calibration point.
  • The majority of the fossils used for calibration of avian molecular clocks have uncertain phylogenetic relationships.
  • Divergence times of living species, estimated from molecular clocks, have the potential to constrain hypotheses of the relationships of fossil species.

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