Does the Red Queen Reign in the Kingdom of Digital Organisms?
I investigate the competition dynamics between two identical clones of digital organisms, for three sets of clones taken from different locations in the fitness landscape. When the clones are taken from the base of a fitness peak, such that beneficial mutations are abundant, then both gain in fitness during the competition (Red Queen effect), until eventually one clone drives the other to extinction. When beneficial mutations are rare or completely absent, on the other hand, then either the clone that finds a beneficial mutation first wins, or the clone that loses the highest-fitness mutant first loses the competition. The time until one of the two strains dies out is in general shorter in the Red Queen case than in the other cases. I discuss the relevance of my findings for competition studies with RNA viruses.
KeywordsCompetition Experiment Beneficial Mutation Extinction Time Identical Clone Typical Dynamic
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