We thank NASA (grant NNX10AR15G to NL and grant NNX07AJ21G to FJS) for funding
RNA -- Mathematical models, Genetic recombination, Genotype-environment interaction
Recombination is a common event in nature, with examples in physics, chemistry, and biology. This process is characterized by the spontaneous reorganization of structural units to form new entities. Upon reorganization, the complexity of the overall system can change. In particular the components of the system can now experience a new response to externally applied selection criteria, such that the evolutionary trajectory of the system is altered. In this work we explore the link between chemical and biological forms of recombination. We estimate how the net system complexity changes, through analysis of RNA-RNA recombination and by mathematical modeling. Our results underscore the importance of recombination in the origins of life on the Earth and its subsequent evolutionary divergence.
Lehman, N.; Diaz Arenas, C.; White, W.A.; Schmidt, F.J. (2010). Complexity through recombination: From chemistry to biology. Entropy 13: 17-37