Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Functional Constraint

Portion of a molecule that cannot sustain mutations as often as an unconstrained portion; for example, the heme pocket of hemoglobin, which is critical to the molecule, is constrained as compared to the surface or mere scaffolding function of other sections. Unconstrained portions of a genome evolve five to twenty times faster than constrained portions. Constrained portions are often equivalent to molecular domains.

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