Statistical Physics and Quantitative Biology
University of Cologne
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Adaptive evolution and dynamical fitness models

Evolution is a quest for innovation. Organisms adapt to changing natural selection by evolving new phenotypes.  Can we read this dynamics in their genomes? We have developed a nonequilibrium theory of molecular evolution, which is based on explicitly time-dependent models of selection and adaptive genome evolution in response. Our approach extends the static concept of fitness landscapes to dynamic fitness seascapes. It leads to new tests for adaptive evolution in genomic data. Recently, we extended this approach to adaptive processes of asexual populations, which take place under genetic linkage.

Stochastic evolution of a genomic locus under mutations, reproductive fluctuations (genetic drift), and time-dependent selection. The graph shows the time-dependent fraction of individuals carrying one of the two alleles.
Adaptive Evolution of Gene Expression in Drosophila
Armita Nourmohammad, Joachim Rambeau, Torsten Held, Viera Kovacova, Johannes Berg, Michael Lässig, Cell Reports 20, 1385-1395 (2017)
Predicting evolution
Michael Lässig, Ville Mustonen, Aleksandra M. Walczak, Nature Ecol. Evol. 1, 077 (9 pages) (2017)
Adaptive evolution of molecular phenotypes
T. Held, A. Nourmohammad, and M. Lässig, J. Stat. Mech., in press (2014)
Universality and predictability in molecular quantitative genetics
A. Nourmohammad*, T. Held*, and M. Lässig, Current Opinion in Genetics and Development 23, 684-93 (2013)
(*) equal contributions
Chance and risk in adaptive evolution
M.Lässig, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 4719-20, (2012)
Emergent Neutrality in Adaptive Asexual Evolution
Stephan Schiffels, Gergely Szöllösi, Ville Mustonen, and Michael Lässig, Genetics 189, 1361 - 75, (2011)
Fitness flux and ubiquity of adaptive evolution
V. Mustonen and M. Lässig, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 107, 4248-53, (2010)
From fitness landscapes to seascapes: non-equilibrium dynamics of selection and adaptation
V. Mustonen and M. Lässig, Trends Genet 25, 111-9, (2009)
Molecular evolution under fitness fluctuations
V. Mustonen and M. Lässig, Phys Rev Lett. 100, 108101, (2008)
Adaptations to fluctuating selection in Drosophila
V. Mustonen and M. Lässig, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 104, 2277-82, (2007)

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