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Deim Seminar


Models of viral evolution motivated by experimental observations


Susanna C. Manrubia

Professor/a organitzador/a

lex Arenas




27-01-2011 12:00


Viruses are suitable model systems to study evolution in short periods of time. Due to their characteristics, viral populations adapt rapidly to changing conditions, thus allowing the quantification of several evolutionary features under controlled laboratory conditions. We will describe a number of experiments performed with RNA viruses that have been studied in our group. Particular emphasis is devoted to the interpretation of the experiments and to the involved phenomenology, a necessary step prior to the formulation of simple evolutionary models aimed at describing the observed dynamics. The response of a population subjected to repeated bottleneck passages and the effect of Muller?s ratchet in its evolution will be discussed; we will compare the kinetics of epidemic spread on a cellular monolayer of a wild type virus versus its cognate, fragmented form; the extinction of infectivity in the presence of efficient replication due to increased mutagenesis has recently led to the concept of lethal defection. Finally, we will briefly present recent theoretical results that analyse the effect of spatial competition on quasispecies dynamics.


Laboratori 231