Optimal lineage principle for age-structured populations

Yuichi Wakamoto, Alexander Y. Grosberg, Edo Kussell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We present a formulation of branching and aging processes that allows age distributions along lineages to be studied within populations, and provides a new interpretation of classical results in the theory of aging. We establish a variational principle for the stable age distribution along lineages. Using this optimal lineage principle, we show that the response of a population's growth rate to age-specific changes in mortality and fecundity-a key quantity that was first calculated by Hamilton-is given directly by the age distribution along lineages. We apply our method also to the Bellman-Harris process, in which both mother and progeny are rejuvenated at each reproduction event, and show that this process can be mapped to the classic aging process such that age statistics in the population and along lineages are identical. Our approach provides both a theoretical framework for understanding the statistics of aging in a population, and a new method of analytical calculations for populations with age structure. We discuss generalizations for populations with multiple phenotypes, and more complex aging processes. We also provide a first experimental test of our theory applied to bacterial populations growing in a microfluidics device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-134
Number of pages20
JournalEvolution
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

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age structure
Age Distribution
Population
Lab-On-A-Chip Devices
statistics
Population Growth
Population Characteristics
Reproduction
Fertility
fecundity
phenotype
population growth
branching
Phenotype
mortality
Mortality
methodology
testing
method

Keywords

  • Age structure
  • Fecundity
  • Models/simulations
  • Population structure
  • Selection
  • Senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics

Cite this

Optimal lineage principle for age-structured populations. / Wakamoto, Yuichi; Grosberg, Alexander Y.; Kussell, Edo.

In: Evolution, Vol. 66, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 115-134.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wakamoto, Yuichi ; Grosberg, Alexander Y. ; Kussell, Edo. / Optimal lineage principle for age-structured populations. In: Evolution. 2012 ; Vol. 66, No. 1. pp. 115-134.
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