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Paper: The effect of population structure on the rate of evolution

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  • Robert Karl Stonjek
    The effect of population structure on the rate of evolution Marcus Frean1, Paul B. Rainey2,3 and Arne Traulsen3 1Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington
    Message 1 of 1 , May 16, 2013
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      The effect of population structure on the rate of evolution

      Marcus Frean1, Paul B. Rainey2,3 and Arne Traulsen3
       
      1Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
      2New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study and Allan Wilson Centre, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
      3Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, 24306 Plön, Germany
      e-mail: marcus@...

      Abstract

      Ecological factors exert a range of effects on the dynamics of the evolutionary process. A particularly marked effect comes from population structure, which can affect the probability that new mutations reach fixation. Our interest is in population structures, such as those depicted by ‘star graphs’, that amplify the effects of selection by further increasing the fixation probability of advantageous mutants and decreasing the fixation probability of disadvantageous mutants. The fact that star graphs increase the fixation probability of beneficial mutations has lead to the conclusion that evolution proceeds more rapidly in star-structured populations, compared with mixed (unstructured) populations. Here, we show that the effects of population structure on the rate of evolution are more complex and subtle than previously recognized and draw attention to the importance of fixation time. By comparing population structures that amplify selection with other population structures, both analytically and numerically, we show that evolution can slow down substantially even in populations where selection is amplified.

      Source: The Royal Society
      http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1762/20130211.abstract.html?cpetoc

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      Robert Karl Stonjek

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