Using Computer Simulation to Understand Mutation Accumulation Dynamics and Genetic Load


Long-standing theoretical concerns about mutation accumulation within the human population can now be addressed with numerical simulation. We apply a biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program to study human mutation accumulation under a wide-range of circumstances. Using realistic estimates for the relevant biological parameters, we investigate the rate of mutation accumulation, the distribution of the fitness effects of the accumulating mutations, and the overall effect on mean genotypic fitness. Our numerical simulations consistently show that deleterious mutations accumulate linearly across a large portion of the relevant parameter space. This appears to be primarily due to the predominance of nearly-neutral mutations. The problem of mutation accumulation becomes severe when mutation rates are high. Numerical simulations strongly support earlier theoretical and mathematical studies indicating that human mutation accumulation is a serious concern. Our simulations indicate that reduction of mutation rate is the most effective means for addressing this problem. 






John Sanford

Dept. Hort. Sci., Cornell University, Geneva, NY, 14456, USA


John Sanford


◆Developing new genetic transformation technologies
◆Developing new approaches to genetically engineer disease and insect resistance in     horticultural plants
◆Conventional breeding of strawberries and raspberries
◆Primary inventor of the biolistic (gene gun) process
◆Co-inventor of the Pathogen-derived Resistance (PDR) process
◆Co-inventor of the Genetic Vaccination process
◆Primary inventor of numerous conventionally-bred fruit varieties.
◆Gene gun process used to engineer most of the world's trangenic crops.

Academic Positions Held:

◆1998-present Courtesy Associate Professor, Dept. of Horticultural Sciences
◆1994-1998 Associate Professor, Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Cornell     University.
◆1986-1994 Associate Professor, Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Cornell     University. Responsibilities - 100% research.
◆1980-1986 Assistant Professor.

Academic Honors:

Adjunct Assoc. Prof. of Botany - Duke University, Durham, NC.

Distinguished Inventor Award (W. Greatbatch, J. Sanford) 1995, Gene therapy for retroviruses. Central New York Patent Law Association.

Distinguished Inventor Award (J. Sanford, E. Wolf, N. Allen) 1990, Central New York Patent Law Association.

Over 75 publications and over 25 patents.


时间: 2007年5月28日(星期)上午 9:00-11:00





地址:中国北京海淀区圆西路2号  邮编:100094   电话:+86(10)62731214

 Copyright© 生物信息中心 2004-2005 All right reserved