Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Antibiotic resistance: Evolution without trade-offs

Artificial selection for antibiotic resistance in microorganisms reveals why and how expected evolutionary trade-offs between population growth rate and population carrying capacity are not observed in resource-limited environments, with ‘trade-ups’ occurring instead.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The superorganism phenomenon across environments.


  1. 1

    Reding-Roman, C. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 1, 0050 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    MacArthur, R. H. & Wilson, E. O. The Theory of Island Biogeography (Princeton Univ. Press, 1967).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Pianka, E. R. Am. Nat. 104, 592–597 (1970).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Hamel, S. et al. Ecol. Monogr. 86, 517–543 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Hille, S. M. & Cooper, C. B. Biol. Rev. 90, 204–213 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Charlesworth, B. Evolution 44, 520–538 (1990).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Tessier, A. J. & Woodruff, P. Ecol. Lett. 5, 685–692 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Vorburger, C. Evolution 59, 1006–1015 (2005).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Sgro, C. M. & Hoffmann, A. A. Heredity 93, 241–248 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Messina, F. J. & Fry, J. D. J. Evol. Biol. 16, 501–509 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to David Reznick or Kayla King.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Reznick, D., King, K. Antibiotic resistance: Evolution without trade-offs. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 0066 (2017).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing