, Volume 48, Issue 1-2, pp 343-360

Statistical mechanics of Eigen's evolution model

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The correspondence between Eigen's model of macromolecular evolution and the equilibrium statistical mechanics of an inhomogeneous Ising system is developed. The free energy landscape of random Ising systems with the Hopfield Hamiltonian as a special example is applied to the replication rate coefficient landscape. The coupling constants are scaled with 1/l, since the maxima of any landscape must not increase with the length of the macromolecules. The calculated error threshold relation then agrees with Eigen's expression, which was derived in a different way. It gives an explicit expression for the superiority parameter in terms of the parameters of the landscape. The dynamics of selection and evolution is discussed.