How long does it take to an RNA pool to find a particular structure through mutation and selection? In this computational study, Manrubia and Stich relate properties of the sequence-structure map, in particular the abundance of a given secondary structure in a random pool, with the number of replicative events that an initially random population of sequences needs to find that structure through mutation and selection. Search and fixation processes are more efficient in a wider range of mutation rates for common structures, thus indicating that evolvability of RNA populations is not simply determined by abundance.
Stich M, Manrubia SC.
Motif frequency and evolutionary search times in RNA populations.
J Theor Biol. 2011 Jul 7;280(1):117-26. Epub 2011 Mar 21.