Clonal Interference Models in Population Genetics (Junior Paper)
This was my Fall Junior Paper, written in 2005 in partial satisfaction of the degree requirements for the Princeton Physics Dept.
Abstract: Studies of evolutionary population genetics have long overlooked asexual organisms for historical reasons. Experiments in bacterial populations begun in recent decades now offer extensive data, but theoretical models have only recently begun to address such populations. Here we develop a theoretical background for population genetics of asexual populations and then apply it to exploring a phenomenon unique to such organisms known as clonal interference. By examining two separate papers on the topic we discover that the phenomenon can occur through two separate mechanisms of interference, and what parameter values (regimes) correspond to what mechanisms. Based on our theoretical development we also identify difficulties in the models described by each paper. Additionally, we develop a simulation to further explore the dynamics of the second mechanism.