David Martin McCandlish

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Recent studies of protein evolution contend that the longer an amino acid substitution is present at a site, the less likely it is to revert to the amino acid previously occupying that site. Here we study this phenomenon of decreasing reversion rates rigorously and in a much more general context. We show that, under weak mutation and for arbitrary fitness(More)
How eukaryotic genomes encode the folding of DNA into nucleosomes and how this intrinsic organization of chromatin guides biological function are questions of wide interest. The physical basis of nucleosome positioning lies in the sequence-dependent propensity of DNA to adopt the tightly bent configuration imposed by the binding of the histone proteins.(More)
An important question in molecular evolution is whether an amino acid that occurs at a given position makes an independent contribution to fitness, or whether its effect depends on the state of other loci in the organism's genome, a phenomenon known as epistasis. In a recent letter to Nature, Breen et al. (2012) argued that epistasis must be"pervasive(More)
The phenotypic effect of an allele at one genetic site may depend on alleles at other sites, a phenomenon known as epistasis. Epistasis can profoundly influence the process of evolution in populations and shape the patterns of protein divergence across species. Whereas epistasis between adaptive substitutions has been studied extensively, relatively little(More)
Many models of evolution calculate the rate of evolution by multiplying the rate at which new mutations originate within a population by a probability of fixation. Here we review the historical origins, contemporary applications, and evolutionary implications of these "origin-fixation" models, which are widely used in evolutionary genetics, molecular(More)
The formula for the probability of fixation of a new mutation is widely used in theoretical population genetics and molecular evolution. Here we derive a series of identities, inequalities and approximations for the exact probability of fixation of a new mutation under the Moran process (equivalent results hold for the approximate probability of fixation(More)
Fitness landscapes are a classical concept for thinking about the relationship between genotype and fitness. However, because the space of genotypes is typically high-dimensional, the structure of fitness landscapes can be difficult to understand and the heuristic approach of thinking about fitness landscapes as low-dimensional, continuous surfaces may be(More)
Studies on the genetics of adaptation from new mutations typically neglect the possibility that a deleterious mutation might fix. Nonetheless, here we show that, in many regimes, the first mutation to fix is most often deleterious, even when fitness is expected to increase in the long term. In particular, we prove that this phenomenon occurs under weak(More)
Can we define a measure that describes how easy or difficult it is for a population to evolve to a specific genotype? For populations evolving under weak mutation on a time-invariant fitness landscape, I argue that one appropriate measure is the expected waiting time, starting from equilibrium, for a population to become fixed for a given genotype. Under(More)
The role that epistasis plays during adaptation remains an outstanding problem, which has received considerable attention in recent years. Most of the recent empirical studies are based on ensembles of replicate populations that adapt in a fixed, laboratory controlled condition. Researchers often seek to infer the presence and form of epistasis in the(More)