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Survival of the steepest: hypersensitivity to mutations as an adaptation to soft selection
 

Summary: Survival of the steepest: hypersensitivity to mutations
as an adaptation to soft selection
M. ARCHETTI
Department of Zoology, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Introduction
Survival of the flattest: hard selection leads
to robustness
Natural selection usually favours genotypes with higher
reproductive rate (`survival of the fittest'). Quasi-species
models (Eigen, 1971; Eigen & Schuster, 1979; Eigen
et al., 1989), however, suggest that selection, at least in
an asexual population and at high mutation rates,
should maximize the overall replication rate of a cloud
of genotypes connected by mutation. Thus, a fast-
replicating organism that occupies a high and narrow
peak in a fitness landscape (that is, whose nearby
mutants have a very low fitness) can be displaced by an
organism that occupies a lower but flatter peak. In
other words, selection may favour higher genetic
robustness in spite of lower fitness. A `flatter' region

  

Source: Archetti, Marco - Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine