Continuity in evolution: On the nature of transitions

Fontana, W. & Schuster, P. (1998). Continuity in evolution: On the nature of transitions. Science 280 (5368) 1451-1455. 10.1126/science.280.5368.1451.

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To distinguish continuous from discontinuous evolutionary change, a relation of nearness between phenotypes is needed. Such a relation is based on the probability of one phenotype being accessible from another through changes in the genotype. This nearness relation is exemplified by calculating the shape neighborhood of a transfer RNA secondary structure and provides a characterization of discontinuous shape transformations in RNA. The simulation of replicating and mutating RNA populations under selection shows that sudden adaptive progress coincides mostly, but not always, with discontinuous shape transformations. The nature of these transformations illuminates the key role of neutral genetic drift in their realization.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Adaptive Dynamics Network (ADN)
Bibliographic Reference: Science; 280(5368):1451-1455 (29 May 1998)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:09
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:16

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