Simulation of cyclic processes in the plant–soil system was used to analyze the effects of factors responsible for the population dynamics of rhizobia on generation of mutants with changedex planta viability. Rhizobial evolution in a system of ecological niches (soil, rhizosphere, nodules) was described with recurrent equations. Computer experiments were carried out with parameters determining the mutation pressure, selection, and amplitude of the population wave arising in soil on the release of bacteria from nodules and the rhizosphere. Analysis of the model showed that (1) mutants with enhanced ex planta viability do not completely replace the parental strain and (2) mutants with impaired ex planta viability may be fixed in the population. The maintenance of genotypes subject to elimination from the soil and rhizosphere by Darwinian selection was associated with frequency-dependent selection (FDS), which is effective in competition for nodulation. The FDS index was proposed to characterize FDS pressure and was shown to determine the population polymorphism for adaptive traits. An increase in population wave amplitude proved to increase the fixation level (the proportion in the limiting state of the system) of mutants with enhanced viability and to decrease it in mutants with low viability. The results obtained with the model agreed with the data that, in edaphic stress, rhizobial populations remain highly polymorphic, which is associated with the maintenance of sensitive strains. The simulation procedure may be employed in estimating the genetic consequences of introduction of modified rhizobial strains in the environment.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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