Epistasis in RNA Viruses

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Science  26 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5701, pp. 1492-1493
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106677

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An important question yet to be answered in evolutionary biology concerns the benefit of recombination and sexual reproduction. Some theories suggest that recombination has been favored by selection because of the nature of epistatic interactions, where a gene at one locus influences the expression of a gene at a different locus. In their Perspective, Michalakis and Roze discuss two new studies of RNA viruses published here ( Bonhoeffer et al. ) and elsewhere that report evidence for the presence of positive epistasis in RNA viruses.