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Some Mathematical Challenges from Life SciencesPart IIPeter Schuster, Universität WienPeter F.Stadler, Universität LeipzigGünter Wagner, Yale University, New Haven, CTAngela Stevens, Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften, LeipzigandIvo L. Hofacker, Universität WienOberwolfach, GE, 16.-21.11.2003


Web-Page for further information:

http://www.tbi.univie.ac.at/~pks



A  B

B  A

Reactions in the continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR)





Pattern formation in autocatalytic third order reactions flow reactor

G.Nicolis, I.Prigogine. Self-Organization in Nonequilibrium Systems. From Dissipative Structures to Order through Fluctuations. John Wiley, New York 1977


Autocatalytic second order reactions are the basis of selection processes.

The autocatalytic step is formally equivalent to replication or reproduction.


Replication in the flow reactor selection processes.

P.Schuster & K.Sigmund, Dynamics of evolutionary optimization, Ber.Bunsenges.Phys.Chem.89: 668-682 (1985)




Complementary replication reactions as the simplest copying mechanism of RNA

Complementarity is determined by Watson-Crick base pairs:

GCandA=U


Reproduction reactions of organisms or replication of molecules as the basis of selection


Selection equation reactions: [Ii] = xi 0 , fi> 0

Mean fitness or dilution flux,(t), is a non-decreasingfunction of time,

Solutions are obtained by integrating factor transformation


s reactions = ( f2-f1) /f1; f2 > f1 ; x1(0) = 1 - 1/N ; x2(0) = 1/N

Selection of advantageous mutants in populations of N = 10 000 individuals


Changes in RNA sequences originate from replication errors called mutations.

Mutations occur uncorrelated to their consequences in the selection process and are, therefore, commonly characterized as random elements of evolution.


The origins of changes in RNA sequences are called replication errors called mutations.



City-block distance in sequence space reactions

2D Sketch of sequence space

Single point mutations as moves in sequence space


Mutation-s reactionselection equation: [Ii] = xi 0, fi> 0, Qij 0

Solutions are obtained after integrating factor transformation by means of an eigenvalue problem




Quasispecies reactions as a function of the replication accuracy q


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