Evolution with recombination as Gibbs sampling

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DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tpb.2023.03.005
Reference J.M. Poulton, L. Altenberg and C. Watkins, Evolution with recombination as Gibbs sampling, Theor. Popul. Biol. 151, 28-43 (2023)
Group Biochemical Networks

This work presents a population genetic model of evolution, which includes haploid selection, mutation, recombination, and drift. The mutation-selection equilibrium can be expressed exactly in closed form for arbitrary fitness functions without resorting to diffusion approximations. Tractability is achieved by generating new offspring using n-parent rather than 2-parent recombination. While this enforces linkage equilibrium among offspring, it allows analysis of the whole population under linkage disequilibrium. We derive a general and exact relationship between fitness fluctuations and response to selection. Our assumptions allow analytical calculation of the stationary distribution of the model for a variety of non-trivial fitness functions. These results allow us to speak to genetic architecture, i.e., what stationary distributions result from different fitness functions. This paper presents methods for exactly deriving stationary states for finite and infinite populations. This method can be applied to many fitness functions, and we give exact calculations for four of these. These results allow us to investigate metastability, tradeoffs between fitness functions, and even consider error-correcting codes.