The fastest path of evolution
Research report (imported) 2008 - Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
During the evolution of a population, advantageous mutations are accumulated. This enhances the fitness of the population until all advantageous mutations are fixed. Under which circumstances does this process proceed fastest? A mathematical calculation shows that an exponential increase of fitness is optimal for small mutation rates. For high mutation rates, the process is faster if the fitness increases only in the last step.