Quasispecies theory for evolution of modularity
Niestemski, Liang Ren
Deem, Michael W.
Biological systems are modular, and this modularity evolves over time and in different environments. A number of observations have been made of increased modularity in biological systems under increased environmental pressure. We here develop a quasispecies theory for the dynamics of modularity in populations of these systems. We show how the steady-state fitness in a randomly changing environment can be computed. We derive a fluctuation dissipation relation for the rate of change of modularity and use it to derive a relationship between rate of environmental changes and rate of growth of modularity. We also find a principle of least action for the evolved modularity at steady state. Finally, we compare our predictions to simulations of protein evolution and find them to be consistent.