Self-adaptation of Genome Size in Artificial Organisms
In this paper we investigate the evolutionary pressures influencing genome size in artificial organisms. These were designed with three organisation levels (genome, proteome, phenotype) and are submitted to local mutations as well as rearrangements of the genomic structure. Experiments with various per-locus mutation rates show that the genome size always stabilises, although the fitness computation does not penalise genome length. The equilibrium value is closely dependent on the mutational pressure, resulting in a constant genome-wide mutation rate and a constant average impact of rearrangements. Genome size therefore self-adapts to the variation intensity, reflecting a balance between at least two pressures: evolving more and more complex functions with more and more genes, and preserving genome robustness by keeping it small.
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