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In Darwinian evolution, feedback from natural selection leads to biased mutations

Caporale, Lynn Helena and Doyle, John (2013) In Darwinian evolution, feedback from natural selection leads to biased mutations. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1305 . pp. 18-28. ISSN 0077-8923. doi:10.1111/nyas.12235.

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Natural selection provides feedback through which information about the environment and its recurring challenges is captured, inherited, and accumulated within genomes in the form of variations that contribute to survival. The variation upon which natural selection acts is generally described as “random.” Yet evidence has been mounting for decades, from such phenomena as mutation hotspots, horizontal gene transfer, and highly mutable repetitive sequences, that variation is far from the simplifying idealization of random processes as white (uniform in space and time and independent of the environment or context). This paper focuses on what is known about the generation and control of mutational variation, emphasizing that it is not uniform across the genome or in time, not unstructured with respect to survival, and is neither memoryless nor independent of the (also far from white) environment. We suggest that, as opposed to frequentist methods, Bayesian analysis could capture the evolution of nonuniform probabilities of distinct classes of mutation, and argue not only that the locations, styles, and timing of real mutations are not correctly modeled as generated by a white noise random process, but that such a process would be inconsistent with evolutionary theory.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Doyle, John0000-0002-1828-2486
Additional Information:© 2013 New York Academy of Sciences. Article first published online: 13 Sep. 2013. The authors are deeply indebted to David King for his important and insightful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript, and recommend his recent article, which contributes historical background for this discussion. This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHYS-1066293 and the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics. J.D. was in part supported by the NSF, AFOSR, and the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies through Grant W911NF-09-0001 from the U.S. Army Research Office. The content does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Aspen Center for PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF-09-0001
Subject Keywords:Darwin; random mutation; natural selection; evolution; feedback
Series Name:Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140203-132837058
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Official Citation:Caporale, L. H. and Doyle, J. (2013), In Darwinian evolution, feedback from natural selection leads to biased mutations. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1305: 18–28. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12235
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43626
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Feb 2014 00:26
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:40

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