# Probability of fixation of an advantageous mutant in a viral quasispecies

##### Wilke, C.O.

#### Genetics 163(2): 467-474

#### 2003

**ISSN/ISBN: 0016-6731**

PMID: 12618386

Accession: 009947286

The probability that an advantageous mutant rises to fixation in a viral quasispecies is investigated in the framework of multitype branching processes. Whether fixation is possible depends on the overall growth rate of the quasispecies that will form if invasion is successful rather than on the individual fitness of the invading mutant. The exact fixation probability can be calculated only if the fitnesses of all potential members of the invading quasispecies are known. Quasispecies fixation has two important characteristics: First, a sequence with negative selection coefficient has a positive fixation probability as long as it has the potential to grow into a quasispecies with an overall growth rate that exceeds that of the established quasispecies. Second, the fixation probabilities of sequences with identical fitnesses can nevertheless vary over many orders of magnitudes. Two approximations for the probability of fixation are introduced. Both approximations require only partial knowledge about the potential members of the invading quasispecies. The performance of these two approximations is compared to the exact fixation probability on a network of RNA sequences with identical secondary structure. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.