EvoluZion is a forward-in-time geneticsimulator developed in Java designed to perform real time simulations on the evolutionary history of virtual organisms. These model organisms harbora set of 13 genes codifying for equal number of phenotypic features. These genes change randomly during replication, and mutant genes can have null, positive or negative effects on the organism's fitness, allowing to model effects of both natural selection and gene drift on gene evolution.
Different data can be collected periodically during simulation in order to perform further analyse. In addition, the complete genealogy of extant as well as extinct organisms can be recorded.
Protein and DNA sequences can be used to perform phylogenetic analysis in order to evaluate the performance of multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic inference methods.
EvoluZion is well suited to teach evolutionary biology to students off all levels in an intuitive and pedagogic way. This is mainly due to three features; i) its intuitive and simple graphical interface ii) real time visualization iii) integration of a wide range of biological phenomena into a single simulation.
Because of the obvious complexity of simulating an actual living organism, this program takes a simplified approach of the phenomenon of life, where the essential elements that define life (at the moment) are present.
v_2.5.1 12/21/2017: The use of memory was optimized and some aesthetic changes were made in the design of the organisms.
v-2.5.0 11/15/2017: A new gene (and a new phenotype) was incorporated (AS AN EXPERIMENTAL MODE) in the diploid version of the program. The new gene regulates the type of reproduction between sexual and parthenogenetic. This gene, called "parthenogenesis", simulates what is observed in some organisms where the meiosis in females stops in its first stage and only generates fertile diploid eggs, without having been fertilized by the males. The descendants of this type of reproduction are genetically identical to their mother.
For more information visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis
Limitations: As a limitation, organisms that reproduce parthenogenetically are less fertile (they leave less offspring per reproductive cycle) and need a stimulus or courtship by males in order to induce reproduction. In fact, organisms can reproduce without courtship, but the number of offspring is even lower.
Those who do not want the effect of this characteristic in their simulations should simply uncheck the box "parthenogenesis" in the option "genes that will mutate". By default, all organisms reproduce sexually.
Unfortunately, the files of diploid organisms (*.pob2) saved with this version of EvoluZion are not compatible with those of previous versions and vice versa.
Some errors were corrected and the code was optimized.
v_2.4.0 12/13/2016: I Fixed a problem due to excessive use of RAM.
v_2.3.7 11/23/2016: Some bugs were corrected, buttons were added in the start menu and the code was slightly optimized for more fluidity. I eliminated the visible death of organisms because it, consumes resources.
v_2.3.6 07/25/2016: I made changes to the appearance of the haploid organisms. Organisms can now change direction randomly. The deaths of organisms became more visible.
v_2.3.5 02/16/2016 : Minor bug fixes
v_184.108.40.206 02/15/2016: Manuals have been updated. Step by step tutorials were added in some experiments.
v_2.3.4 11/12/2015: I improved how the data is stored in the haploid version , now all the organism's genome is saved, not just the selected genes. I corrected the esthetic detail of how the minutes and seconds are shown.
v_2.3.2 11/06/2015 : Improvements to the data stored in 1.6.x version
Now the program can sort the organisms at the end of the simulation. This new property enables better view the phenotypes present in the system, in order to provide the user a more didactic experience. Organisms are classified according to their phenotype and arranged next to each other.
They are included the 1.6.0_haploid version and version 2.3.0_diploid.
2015-08-23 : Improvements in the mass balance
2015-08-16: I corrected a bug in loading saved files
This new download includes two programs. Version 1.5 that handles haploid organisms and is a direct upgrade from version 1.42 and version 2.0 (in development) that handles diploid sexually reproducing organisms and is focused on population genetics.
Evolucion is free to use and it is distributed under GNU public license.
The source code can be obtained at: https://github.com/azurita1974/Evoluzion