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Motoo Kimura

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Motoo Kimura (Japanese: 木村 資生, Born::November 13, 1924-Died::November 13, 1994) was a Japanese biologist more specifically a well known theoretical population geneticist. He is best known for proposing the neutral theory of molecular evolution in 1968. He is considered one of the greatest evolutionists that Japan has ever produced.[1]


Kimura was born in Okazaki, Japan. He was the first son of a businessman. In 1944 he entered the Kyoto University to study cytogenetics. After graduating, he worked as a research assistant in the laboratory of Professor Kihara.[1] Over time, Kimura exchanged their area of ​​interest from cytogenetics to the area of mathematical population genetics.[1] In 1968 Kimura proposed the neutral theory of molecular evolution. This hypothesis seeks to sustain that most evolution of the DNA occurs by genetic drift instead of natural selection.[2]



  • Crow, James F.; Kimura, Motoo (1970). An Introduction to Population Genetics Theory. New York: Harper & Row Publishers. pp. 591. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 78-103913. 
  • Kimura, Motoo; Ohta, Tomoko (1971). Theoretical Aspects of Population Genetics. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 219. ISBN 0-691-08098-4. 
  • Kimura, Motoo (1985). The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 384. ISBN 0-52131793-2. 
  • Kimura, Motoo (1995). Takahata, Naoyuki. ed. Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory: Selected Papers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 704. ISBN 0-22643563-6. 


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Nei, Masatoshi (1995). "Motoo Kimura (1924-1994)". Molecular Biology and Evolution (The University of Chicago) 12 (5): 719–722. PMID 7476119. 
  2. Futuyma, Douglas J. (2005). Evolution. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates, Inc. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-87893-187-3.