Robustness in RNA Evolution
- Peter Stadler (Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Bioinformatik, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany)
Some classes of RNA molecules, among them certain non-coding RNAs and viral RNA motifs are subject to strong selection on their structure. The biophysical properties of RNA imply a strong correlation between robustness (against mutations) and thermodynamic stability. Hence it is non-trivial to disentangle direct selection for stability from selection for robustness. I will briefly present the underlying models and review the pertinent literature, closing with a few ideas to tackle the problem.