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Science. 1999 Sep 10;285(5434):1745-7.

Clonal interference and the evolution of RNA viruses.

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Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biología Evolutiva and Departament de Genètica, Universitat de València, Apartado 22085, 46071 València, Spain.


In asexual populations, beneficial mutations that occur in different lineages compete with one another. This phenomenon, known as clonal interference, ensures that those beneficial mutations that do achieve fixation are of large effect. Clonal interference also increases the time between fixations, thereby slowing the adaptation of asexual populations. The effects of clonal interference were measured in the asexual RNA virus vesicular stomatitis virus; rates and average effects of beneficial mutations were quantified.

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