Evolutionary Phase Transitions in Random Environments

Antun Skanata, Edo Kussell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present analytical results for long-term growth rates of structured populations in randomly fluctuating environments, which we apply to predict how cellular response networks evolve. We show that networks which respond rapidly to a stimulus will evolve phenotypic memory exclusively under random (i.e., nonperiodic) environments. We identify the evolutionary phase diagram for simple response networks, which we show can exhibit both continuous and discontinuous transitions. Our approach enables exact analysis of diverse evolutionary systems, from viral epidemics to emergence of drug resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number038104
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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