Scaling limits of a model for selection at two scales

Journal Article

The dynamics of a population undergoing selection is a central topic in evolutionary biology. This question is particularly intriguing in the case where selective forces act in opposing directions at two population scales. For example, a fast-replicating virus strain outcompetes slower-replicating strains at the within-host scale. However, if the fast-replicating strain causes host morbidity and is less frequently transmitted, it can be outcompeted by slower-replicating strains at the between-host scale. Here we consider a stochastic ball-and-urn process which models this type of phenomenon. We prove the weak convergence of this process under two natural scalings. The first scaling leads to a deterministic nonlinear integro-partial differential equation on the interval $[0,1]$ with dependence on a single parameter, $\lambda$. We show that the fixed points of this differential equation are Beta distributions and that their stability depends on $\lambda$ and the behavior of the initial data around $1$. The second scaling leads to a measure-valued Fleming-Viot process, an infinite dimensional stochastic process that is frequently associated with a population genetics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Luo, S; Mattingly, JC

Published Date

  • 2015

PubMed ID

  • 28867875