Population Dynamics in the Evolution of RNA Viruses

  • Esteban Domingo
  • Cristina Escarmís
  • Noemí Sevilla
  • Eric Baranowski
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 440)


RNA virus quasispecies are subjected to processes of positive Darwinian selection, to a very active and continuous negative selection and to random genetic drift. The course of RNA virus evolution is often unpredictable, and recent results suggest that even highly conserved motifs, once regarded as essential for infectivity, may be rendered dispensable by singular evolutionary events. An immediate consequence of the quasispecies genetic organization of RNA viruses is a surprising ability to gain fitness once a minimal replication ability is established in a biological enviroment. The unique features of RNA genetics should not be underestimated since they are at the basis of the emergence of new viral diseases and of the current difficulties to control many diseases associated variable viruses.


Sequence Space Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Amino Acid Substi Positive Darwinian Selection Viral Quasispecies 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esteban Domingo
    • 1
  • Cristina Escarmís
    • 1
  • Noemí Sevilla
    • 1
  • Eric Baranowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” (CSIC-UAM)Universidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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