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Theoretical Population Biology

Michael Turelli, Nicholas H Barton
A novel strategy for controlling the spread of arboviral diseases such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya is to transform mosquito populations with virus-suppressing Wolbachia. In general, Wolbachia transinfected into mosquitoes induce fitness costs through lower viability or fecundity. These maternally inherited bacteria also produce a frequency-dependent advantage for infected females by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), which kills the embryos produced by uninfected females mated to infected males...
April 11, 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
S Thomas Kelly, Hamish G Spencer
Genomic imprinting is a form of epigenetic modification involving parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression, usually the inactivation of one gene copy in some tissues, at least, for some part of the diploid life cycle. Occurring at a number of loci in mammals and flowering plants, this mode of non-Mendelian expression can be viewed more generally as parentally-specific differential gene expression. The effects of natural selection on genetic variation at imprinted loci have previously been examined in a several population-genetic models...
April 5, 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Léandra King, John Wakeley, Shai Carmi
The population-scaled mutation rate, θ, is informative on the effective population size and is thus widely used in population genetics. We show that for two sequences and n unlinked loci, the variance of Tajima's estimator (θˆ), which is the average number of pairwise differences, does not vanish even as n→∞. The non-zero variance of θˆ results from a (weak) correlation between coalescence times even at unlinked loci, which, in turn, is due to the underlying fixed pedigree shared by gene genealogies at all loci...
March 21, 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Hisashi Ohtsuki, Joe Yuichiro Wakano, Yutaka Kobayashi
The success of humans on the globe is largely supported by our cultural excellence. Our culture is cumulative, meaning that it is improved from generation to generation. Previous works have revealed that two modes of learning, individual learning and social learning, play pivotal roles in the accumulation of culture. However, under the trade-off between learning and reproduction, one's investment into learning is easily exploited by those who copy the knowledge of skillful individuals and selfishly invest more efforts in reproduction...
March 16, 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Heike Lischke, Thomas J Löffler
One way to explore assembly of extant and novel communities from species pools, and by that biodiversity and species ranges, is to study the equilibrium behavior of dynamic competition models such as the Lotka-Volterra competition (LVC) model. We present a novel method (COMMUSTIX) to determine all stable fixpoints of the general LVC model with abundances x from a given pool of n species. To that purpose, we split the species in potentially surviving species (xi>0) and in others going extinct (xi=0). We derived criteria for the stability of xi=0 and for the equilibrium of xi>0 to determine possible combinations of extinct and surviving species by iteratively applying a mixed binary linear optimization algorithm...
February 22, 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Peter R Wilton, Pierre Baduel, Matthieu M Landon, John Wakeley
Contrary to what is often assumed in population genetics, independently segregating loci do not have completely independent ancestries, since all loci are inherited through a single, shared population pedigree. Previous work has shown that the non-independence between gene genealogies of independently segregating loci created by the population pedigree is weak in panmictic populations, and predictions made from standard coalescent theory are accurate for populations that are at least moderately sized. Here, we investigate patterns of coalescence in pedigrees of structured populations...
January 28, 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
I Akushevich, A P Yashkin, J Kravchenko, F Fang, K Arbeev, F Sloan, A I Yashin
In this study, we present a new theory of partitioning of disease prevalence and incidence-based mortality and demonstrate how this theory practically works for analyses of Medicare data. In the theory, the prevalence of a disease and incidence-based mortality are modeled in terms of disease incidence and survival after diagnosis supplemented by information on disease prevalence at the initial age and year available in a dataset. Partitioning of the trends of prevalence and mortality is calculated with minimal assumptions...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Andrew E M Lewis-Pye, Antonio Montalbán
The question as to why most complex organisms reproduce sexually remains a very active research area in evolutionary biology. Theories dating back to Weismann have suggested that the key may lie in the creation of increased variability in offspring, causing enhanced response to selection. Under appropriate conditions, selection is known to result in the generation of negative linkage disequilibrium, with the effect of recombination then being to increase genetic variance by reducing these negative associations between alleles...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Nienke Hartemink, Trifon I Missov, Hal Caswell
Inter-individual variance in longevity (or any other demographic outcome) may arise from heterogeneity or from individual stochasticity. Heterogeneity refers to differences among individuals in the demographic rates experienced at a given age or stage. Stochasticity refers to variation due to the random outcome of demographic rates applied to individuals with the same properties. The variance due to individual stochasticity can be calculated from a Markov chain description of the life cycle. The variance due to heterogeneity can be calculated from a multistate model that incorporates the heterogeneity...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Dominik Schrempf, Asger Hobolth
Recently, Burden and Tang (2016) provided an analytical expression for the stationary distribution of the multivariate neutral Wright-Fisher model with low mutation rates. In this paper we present a simple, alternative derivation that illustrates the approximation. Our proof is based on the discrete multivariate boundary mutation model which has three key ingredients. First, the decoupled Moran model is used to describe genetic drift. Second, low mutation rates are assumed by limiting mutations to monomorphic states...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Luděk Berec, Eva Janoušková, Michal Theuer
Infectious diseases can seriously impact dynamics of their host species. In this study, we model and analyze an interaction between a sexually transmitted infection and its animal host population affected by a mate-finding Allee effect. Since mating drives both host reproduction and infection transmission, the Allee effect shapes the transmission rate of the infection which we show takes a saturating form. Our model combining sexually transmitted infections with the mate-finding Allee effect in the host produces quite rich dynamics, including oscillations, several multistability regimes, and infection-induced host extinction...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Laura S Storch, James M Pringle, Karen E Alexander, David O Jones
There is an ongoing debate about the applicability of chaotic and nonlinear models to ecological systems. Initial introduction of chaotic population models to the ecological literature was largely theoretical in nature and difficult to apply to real-world systems. Here, we build upon and expand prior work by performing an in-depth examination of the dynamical complexities of a spatially explicit chaotic population, within an ecologically applicable modeling framework. We pair a classic chaotic growth model (the logistic map) with explicit dispersal length scale and shape via a Gaussian dispersal kernel...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Noemi Kurt, Mathias Rafler
For the seedbank coalescent with mutation under the infinite alleles assumption, which describes the gene genealogy of a population with a strong seedbank effect subject to mutations, we study the distribution of the final partition with mutation. This generalizes the coalescent with freeze by Dong et al. (2007) to coalescents where ancestral lineages are blocked from coalescing. We derive an implicit recursion which we show to have a unique solution and give an interpretation in terms of absorption problems of a random walk...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Simon Maccracken Stump, Peter Chesson
Optimal foraging is one of the major predictive theories of predator foraging behavior. However, how an optimally foraging predator affects the coexistence of competing prey is not well understood either in a constant or variable environment, especially for multiple prey species. We study the impact of optimal foraging on prey coexistence using an annual plant model, with and without annual variation in seed germination. Seed predators are modeled using Charnov's model of adaptive diet choice. Our results reveal that multiple prey species can coexist because of this type of predator, and that their effect is not greatly modified by environmental variation...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Bendix Koopmann, Johannes Müller, Aurélien Tellier, Daniel Živković
Seed banks are common characteristics to many plant species, which allow storage of genetic diversity in the soil as dormant seeds for various periods of time. We investigate an above-ground population following a Fisher-Wright model with selection coupled with a deterministic seed bank assuming the length of the seed bank is kept constant and the number of seeds is large. To assess the combined impact of seed banks and selection on genetic diversity, we derive a general diffusion model. The applied techniques outline a path of approximating a stochastic delay differential equation by an appropriately rescaled stochastic differential equation...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Olivier David, Christian Lannou, Hervé Monod, Julien Papaïx, Djidi Traore
The role of environmental heterogeneity in the evolution of biological diversity has been studied only for simple types of heterogeneities and dispersals. This article broadens previous results by considering heterogeneities and dispersals that are structured by several environmental factors. It studies the evolution of a metapopulation, living in a network of patches connected by dispersal, under the effects of mutation, selection and migration. First, it is assumed that patches are equally connected and that they carry habitats characterized by several factors exerting selection pressures on several individual traits...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Fernando L Mendez
Difference in male and female effective population sizes has, at times, been attributed to both sexes having unequal variance in their number of offspring. Such difference is paralleled by the relative effective sizes of autosomes, sex chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA. I develop a simple framework to calculate the inbreeding effective population sizes for loci with different modes of inheritance. In this framework, I separate the effects due to mating strategy and those due to genetic transmission. I then show that, in addition to differences in the variance in offspring number, skew in the male/female effective sizes can also be caused by family composition...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
C Merle, R Leblois, F Rousset, P Pudlo
Sequential importance sampling algorithms have been defined to estimate likelihoods in models of ancestral population processes. However, these algorithms are based on features of the models with constant population size, and become inefficient when the population size varies in time, making likelihood-based inferences difficult in many demographic situations. In this work, we modify a previous sequential importance sampling algorithm to improve the efficiency of the likelihood estimation. Our procedure is still based on features of the model with constant size, but uses a resampling technique with a new resampling probability distribution depending on the pairwise composite likelihood...
April 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Thomas W Carr
In an SIRS compartment model for a disease we consider the effect of different probability distributions for remaining immune. We show that to first approximation the first three moments of the corresponding probability densities are sufficient to well describe oscillatory solutions corresponding to recurrent epidemics. Specifically, increasing the fraction who lose immunity, increasing the mean immunity time, and decreasing the heterogeneity of the population all favor the onset of epidemics and increase their severity...
February 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
Ferdinand Pfab, Odo Diekmann, Souvik Bhattacharya, Andrea Pugliese
Briggs et al. (1993) introduced a host-parasitoid model for the dynamics of a system with two parasitoids that attack different juvenile stages of a common host. Their main result was that coexistence of the parasitoids is only possible when there is sufficient variability in the maturation delays of the host juvenile stages. Here, we analyze the phenomenon of coexistence in that model more deeply. We show that with some distribution families for the maturation delays, the coexistence equilibrium is unique, while with other distributions multiple coexistence equilibria can be found...
February 2017: Theoretical Population Biology
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