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Origins of evolution: Non-acquired characters dominates over acquired characters in changing environment

Abstract : Natural Selection is so ubiquitous that we never wonder how it appeared as the evolution rule driving Life. We usually wonder how Life appeared, and seldom do we make an explicit distinction between Life and natural selection. Here, we apply the evolution concept commonly used for studying Life to evolution itself. More precisely, we developed two models aiming at selecting among different evolution rules competing for their supremacy. We explored competition between acquired (AQ) versus non-acquired (NAQ) character inheritance. The first model is parsimonious and non-spatial, in order to understand relationships between environmental forcings and rule selection. The second model is spatially explicit and studies the adaptation differences between AQ and NAQ populations. We established that NAQ evolution rule is dominating in case of changing environment. Furthermore, we observed that a more adapted population better fits its environmental constraints, but fails in rapidly changing environments. NAQ principle and less adapted populations indeed act as a reservoir of traits that helps populations to survive in rapidly changing environments, such as the ones that probably Life experienced at its origins. Although perfectible, our modeling approaches will certainly help us to improve our understanding of origins of Life and Evolution, on Earth or elsewhere. (c) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Cedric Gaucherel, Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen. Origins of evolution: Non-acquired characters dominates over acquired characters in changing environment. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Elsevier, 2012, 304, pp.111 - 120. ⟨10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.02.028⟩. ⟨hal-01268319⟩



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