Complexity Digest 2009.18 - 06
Editor-in-Chief: Carlos Gershenson
Founding Editor: Gottfried Mayer
Red Queen Dynamics with Non-Standard Fitness Interactions, PLoS Comput Biol
Summary: The Red Queen has become an eponym for rapid and perpetual evolutionary arms races between hosts and parasites. The Red Queen also lends her name to the idea that such arms races are at the core of the question of why sexual reproduction is so widespread among higher-level organisms. According to this view, recombination provides the hosts with an advantage that allows faster adaptation to the parasite population. To date, mathematical models trying to quantify Red Queen dynamics and the Red Queen hypothesis for the evolution of sex have generally made several simplifying assumptions about how host and parasite genotypes interact with each other (i.e., how they influence each other's fitness). In this article we present a model that allows for arbitrary patterns of fitness interactions between both parties. We demonstrate that the degree of ‘antagonicity’ in these interactions is decisive for whether Red Queen dynamics are observed, and assess the robustness of various previous results concerning the Red Queen hypothesis with respect to fitness interactions. Our results also make clear how difficult predictions of coevolutionary dynamics and selection for recombination are likely to be in real host-parasite systems.
- Source: Red Queen Dynamics with Non-Standard Fitness Interactions
[ http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000469 ], Jan Engelstädter, Sebastian Bonhoeffer, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000469, PLoS Comput Biol 5(8): e1000469, 2009/08/14