Keep moving, folks:
Conventional wisdom suggests that evolution is driven by mutations that randomly occur throughout an organism’s genome, and that those that make the organism better at surviving or reproducing are then propagated thanks to natural selection. However, a new study cements the countering idea that the process of mutation isn’t evenly distributed across genomes. The work, published in Nature on January 12, finds that there’s a discrepancy in the rates of mutations among genes in model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Specifically, genes playing a crucial role in survival and reproduction mutate far less often than those that are less important…
Monroe and his colleagues found evidence of specific epigenetic characteristics such as cytosine methylation that prevent mutations from occurring in those regions, not unlike protective barriers. These structures and the variability in mutation rates within a single organism’s genome, Monroe says, suggest that “evolution created mechanisms that changed how evolution works.”Dan Robitzski, “Essential Genes Protected from Mutations” at The Scientist (January 2, 2022)
The paper is open access.
As noted earlier, it was easier to be a Darwinist when the cell was just a blob of jelly.
You may also wish to read: Another layer of protection for DNA that just happened to evolve… Darwinism was easier back when cells were just blobs of protoplasm.