Information-theoretic model of evolution over protein communication channel

Liuling Gong, Nidhal Bouaynaya, Dan Schonfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this paper, we propose a communication model of evolution and investigate its information-theoretic bounds. The process of evolution is modeled as the retransmission of information over a protein communication channel, where the transmitted message is the organism's proteome encoded in the DNA. We compute the capacity and the rate distortion functions of the protein communication system for the three domains of life: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryotes. The tradeoff between the transmission rate and the distortion in noisy protein communication channels is analyzed. As expected, comparison between the optimal transmission rate and the channel capacity indicates that the biological fidelity does not reach the Shannon optimal distortion. However, the relationship between the channel capacity and rate distortion achieved for different biological domains provides tremendous insight into the dynamics of the evolutionary processes of the three domains of life. We rely on these results to provide a model of genome sequence evolution based on the two major evolutionary driving forces: mutations and unequal crossovers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4745630
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Applied Mathematics


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