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BMC Evol Biol. 2005 Aug 17;5:44.

Quasispecies theory in the context of population genetics.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A number of recent papers have cast doubt on the applicability of the quasispecies concept to virus evolution, and have argued that population genetics is a more appropriate framework to describe virus evolution than quasispecies theory.

RESULTS:

I review the pertinent literature, and demonstrate for a number of cases that the quasispecies concept is equivalent to the concept of mutation-selection balance developed in population genetics, and that there is no disagreement between the population genetics of haploid, asexually-replicating organisms and quasispecies theory.

CONCLUSION:

Since quasispecies theory and mutation-selection balance are two sides of the same medal, the discussion about which is more appropriate to describe virus evolution is moot. In future work on virus evolution, we would do good to focus on the important questions, such as whether we can develop accurate, quantitative models of virus evolution, and to leave aside discussions about the relative merits of perfectly equivalent concepts.

PMID:
16107214
PMCID:
PMC1208876
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2148-5-44
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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