Emergence of species in evolutionary “simulated annealing”
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CitationHeo, Muyoung, Louis Kang, and Eugene I. Shakhnovich. 2009. “Emergence of Species in Evolutionary ‘simulated Annealing.’” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (6) (January 22): 1869–1874. doi:10.1073/pnas.0809852106.
AbstractWhich factors govern the evolution of mutation rates and emergence of species? Here, we address this question by using a first principles model of life where population dynamics of asexual organisms is coupled to molecular properties and interactions of proteins encoded in their genomes. Simulating evolution of populations, we found that fitness increases in punctuated steps via epistatic events, leading to formation of stable and functionally interacting proteins. At low mutation rates, species form populations of organisms tightly localized in sequence space, whereas at higher mutation rates, species are lost without an apparent loss of fitness. However, when mutation rate was a selectable trait, the population initially maintained high mutation rate until a high fitness level was reached, after which organisms with low mutation rates are gradually selected, with the population eventually reaching mutation rates comparable with those of modern DNAbased organisms. This study shows that the fitness landscape of a biophysically realistic system is extremely complex, with huge number of local peaks rendering adaptation dynamics to be a glass-like process. On a more practical level, our results provide a rationale to experimental observations of the effect of mutation rate on fitness of populations of asexual organisms.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34736495
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