Quantitative Analysis of Selection and Mutation in Self-Replicating RNA

  • Christof K. Biebricher
  • M. Eigen
  • William C. GardinerJr.
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 263)


The neo-Darwinian theory, based on Mendelian genetics1, brought the first quantitative analysis of evolution in the first half of this century. It was often claimed, however, that while Darwinian theory is excellent for explaining natural phenomena, it fails to make quantitative predictions. Given the complexity of biological expression of highly sophisticated living organisms, selective or fitness values can of course only be determined from the outcome of selection. Furthermore, many assumptions have to be made to calculate gene frequencies and their alteration, and in many cases the assumptions are not realistic in the ever-changing environments.


Mutation Rate Mutant Frequency Exponential Growth Phase Replication Rate Fitness Landscape 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christof K. Biebricher
    • 1
  • M. Eigen
    • 1
  • William C. GardinerJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische ChemieGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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