Phase diagrams of quasispecies theory with recombination and horizontal gene transfer

Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Feb 2;98(5):058101. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.058101. Epub 2007 Jan 29.


We consider how transfer of genetic information between individuals influences the phase diagram and mean fitness of both the Eigen and the parallel, or Crow-Kimura, models of evolution. In the absence of genetic transfer, these physical models of evolution consider the replication and point mutation of the genomes of independent individuals in a large population. A phase transition occurs, such that below a critical mutation rate an identifiable quasispecies forms. We show how transfer of genetic information changes the phase diagram and mean fitness and introduces metastability in quasispecies theory, via an analytic field theoretic mapping.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Mutation
  • Recombination, Genetic*