Polymer-population mapping and localization in the space of phenotypes

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Aug 11;97(6):068101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.068101. Epub 2006 Aug 7.


We present a mapping between the thermodynamics of an ideal heteropolymer in an external field and the dynamics of structured populations in fluctuating environments. We employ a population model in which individuals may adopt different phenotypes, each of which may be optimal in a different environment. Using this mapping, we develop a path integral formulation for populations and predict the existence of a biological counterpart for the well-known heteropolymer localization phase transition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Ecosystem*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Phenotype
  • Population Density*
  • Population Dynamics*