Mutation rates as adaptations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In order to better understand life, it is helpful to look beyond the envelop of life as we know it. A simple model of coevolution was implemented with the addition of a gene for the mutation rate of the individual. This allowed the mutation rate itself to evolve in a lineage. The model shows that when the individuals interact in a sort of zero-sum game, the lineages maintain relatively high mutation rates. However, when individuals engage in interactions that have greater consequences for one individual in the interaction than the other, lineages tend to evolve relatively low mutation rates. This model suggests that one possible cause for differential mutation rates across genes may be the coevolutionary pressure of the various forms of interactions with other genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-348
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 7 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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