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1064-5462
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2014 Impact factor:
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Artificial Life

Summer 2008, Vol. 14, No. 3, Pages 265-275
(doi: 10.1162/artl.2008.14.3.14303)
© 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Emergence of Overlapping Scale-free Genetic Architecture in Digital Organisms
Article PDF (270.44 KB)
Abstract

We have studied the evolution of genetic architecture in digital organisms and found that the gene overlap follows a scale-free distribution, which is commonly found in metabolic networks of many organisms. Our results show that the slope of the scale-free distribution depends on the mutation rate and that the gene development is driven by expansion of already existing genes, which is in direct correspondence to the preferential growth algorithm that gives rise to scale-free networks. To further validate our results we have constructed a simple model of gene development, which recapitulates the results from the evolutionary process and shows that the mutation rate affects the tendency of genes to cluster. In addition we could relate the slope of the scale-free distribution to the genetic complexity of the organisms and show that a high mutation rate gives rise to a more complex genetic architecture.