Genome evolution and adaptation in a long-term experiment with Escherichia coli

Genome evolution and adaptation in a long-term experiment with Escherichia coli The relationship between rates of genomic evolution and organismal adaptation remains uncertain, despite considerable interest. The feasibility of obtaining genome sequences from experimentally evolving populations offers the opportunity to investigate this relationship with new precision. Here we sequence genomes sampled through 40,000 generations from a laboratory population of Escherichia coli . Although adaptation decelerated sharply, genomic evolution was nearly constant for 20,000 generations. Such clock-like regularity is usually viewed as the signature of neutral evolution, but several lines of evidence indicate that almost all of these mutations were beneficial. This same population later evolved an elevated mutation rate and accumulated hundreds of additional mutations dominated by a neutral signature. Thus, the coupling between genomic and adaptive evolution is complex and can be counterintuitive even in a constant environment. In particular, beneficial substitutions were surprisingly uniform over time, whereas neutral substitutions were highly variable. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Springer Journals

Genome evolution and adaptation in a long-term experiment with Escherichia coli

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
ISSN
0028-0836
eISSN
1476-4687
DOI
10.1038/nature08480
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The relationship between rates of genomic evolution and organismal adaptation remains uncertain, despite considerable interest. The feasibility of obtaining genome sequences from experimentally evolving populations offers the opportunity to investigate this relationship with new precision. Here we sequence genomes sampled through 40,000 generations from a laboratory population of Escherichia coli . Although adaptation decelerated sharply, genomic evolution was nearly constant for 20,000 generations. Such clock-like regularity is usually viewed as the signature of neutral evolution, but several lines of evidence indicate that almost all of these mutations were beneficial. This same population later evolved an elevated mutation rate and accumulated hundreds of additional mutations dominated by a neutral signature. Thus, the coupling between genomic and adaptive evolution is complex and can be counterintuitive even in a constant environment. In particular, beneficial substitutions were surprisingly uniform over time, whereas neutral substitutions were highly variable.

Journal

NatureSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 18, 2009

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