Theories of adaptation: what they do and don't say

Genetica. 2005 Feb;123(1-2):3-13. doi: 10.1007/s10709-004-2702-3.


Theoretical work on adaptation has lagged behind experimental. But two classes of adaptation model have been partly explored. One is phenotypic and the other DNA sequence based. I briefly consider an example of each--Fisher's geometric model and Gillespie's mutational landscape model, respectively--reviewing recent results. Despite their fundamental differences, these models give rise to several strikingly similar results. I consider possible reasons for this congruence. I also emphasize what predictions do and, as important, do not follow from these models.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological / genetics*
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Selection, Genetic*