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Population size effects in evolutionary dynamics on neutral networks and toy landscapes

Olivier C. Martin
Luca Peliti
Journal / Anthology

Journal of Statistical Mechanics
Year: 2007
Volume: May

We study the dynamics of a population subject to selective pressures, evolving either on RNA neutral networks or on toy fitness landscapes. We discuss the spread and the neutrality of the population in the steady state. Different limits arise depending on whether selection or random drift is dominant. In the presence of strong drift we show that the observables depend mainly on M (R), M being the population size and (R) the mutation rate, while corrections to this scaling go as 1/ M : such corrections can be quite large in the presence of selection if there are barriers in the fitness landscape. Also we find that the convergence to the large- M (R) limit is linear in 1/ M (R). Finally we introduce a protocol that minimizes drift; then observables scale like 1/ M rather than 1/( M (R)), allowing one to determine the large- M limit more quickly when (R) is small; furthermore the genotypic diversity increases from O(ln M ) to O( M ).

*Mathematics > Probability and Statistics

evolutionary and comparative genomics (theory), models for evolution (theory), mutational and evolutionary process (theory)