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J R Soc Interface. 2012 Jun 7;9(71):1354-62. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2011.0695. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Fitness in time-dependent environments includes a geometric phase contribution.

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1
Department of Physics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

Abstract

Phenotypic evolution implies sequential rise in frequency of new genomic sequences. The speed of the rise depends, in part, on the relative fitness (selection coefficient) of the mutant versus the ancestor. Using a simple population dynamics model, we show that the relative fitness in dynamical environments is not equal to the geometric average of the fitness over individual environments. Instead, it includes a term that explicitly depends on the sequence of the environments. For slowly varying environments, this term depends only on the oriented area enclosed by the trajectory taken by the system in the environment state space. It is closely related to the well-studied geometric phases in classical and quantum physical systems. We discuss possible biological implications of these observations, focusing on evolution of novel metabolic or stress-resistant functions.

PMID:
22112653
PMCID:
PMC3350737
DOI:
10.1098/rsif.2011.0695
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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