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.


Life on the frontline reveals constraints

The existence of trade-offs between traits under selection is a fundamental concept in evolutionary biology. Analysis of a densely sampled collection of adaptive mutations in yeast reveals that no single mutation can allow it to overcome detected trade-offs between key traits under selection.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Trade-offs between traits in yeast.


  1. 1.

    MacArthur, R. H. & Wilson, E. O. The Theory of Island Biogeography Vol. 1 (Princeton Univ. Press, 2001).

  2. 2.

    Li, Y., Petrov, D. A. & Sherlock, G. Nat. Ecol. Evol. (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Rolland, F., Winderickx, J. & Thevelein, J. M. FEMS Yeast Res. 2, 183–201 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Shoval, O. et al. Science 336, 1157–1160 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Fitzsimmons, J. M., Schoustra, S. E., Kerr, J. T. & Kassen, R. Evol. Ecol. 24, 227–236 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Gibson, B. et al. FEMS Yeast Res. 17, fox038 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Brennan, G. L., Colegrave, N. & Collins, S. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 114, 9930–9935 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Palmer, A. C. et al. Nat. Commun. 6, 7385 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Eberlein, C. et al. Nat. Commun. 10, 923 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Mori, M., Marinari, E. & De Martino, A. npj Syst. Biol. Appl. 5, 16 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Danna R. Gifford.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gifford, D.R. Life on the frontline reveals constraints. Nat Ecol Evol 3, 1501–1502 (2019).

Download citation


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