Experimental evolution

  • Article
    | Open Access

    A better mechanistic understanding of how marine diatoms adapt to global warming is pertinent to project changes in global ocean primary production. Here, Schaum et al. show substantial phenotypic and genomic changes in Thalassiosira pseudonana during a 300-generation selection experiment in stable and fluctuating environments.

    • C.-Elisa Schaum
    • , A. Buckling
    •  & G. Yvon-Durocher
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Pathogens exert strong selection on hosts and thus may promote parallel evolution. Here, the authors find that hosts experimentally coevolving with a virus have parallel changes in population size, phenotype, and genomic regions, but accelerated divergence in genome sequence likely due to population size fluctuation.

    • Jens Frickel
    • , Philine G. D. Feulner
    •  & Lutz Becks
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mating-type switching enables self-compatible reproduction in fungi, but switching ability is variable even within species. Here, the authors find de novo evolution of switching genotypes in experimentally evolved fission yeast populations and show a trade-off between mating success and growth.

    • Bart P. S. Nieuwenhuis
    • , Sergio Tusso
    •  & Simone Immler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mutational antibiotic resistance can emerge under either high or low antibiotic levels. Here, the authors show several small-effect resistance mutations are combined to confer high-level resistance in Salmonella enterica exposed to sub-MIC levels of streptomycin.

    • Erik Wistrand-Yuen
    • , Michael Knopp
    •  & Dan I. Andersson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bacterial promoters initiate gene transcription and have distinct sequence features. Here, the authors show that random sequences that contain no information are just on the verge of functioning as promoters in Escherichia coli.

    • Avihu H. Yona
    • , Eric J. Alm
    •  & Jeff Gore
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dinoflagellates are known to use dinoflagellate-viral-nucleoproteins (DVNPs) in place of histones, yet this evolutionary transition is not well understood. Here, Irwin et al. use yeast expressing DVNP to show that DVNP displaces histones and that histone reduction allows cells to cope with DVNP.

    • Nicholas A. T. Irwin
    • , Benjamin J. E. Martin
    •  & LeAnn J. Howe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Engineering synthetic methylotrophy remains challenging. Here, the authors engineer a methanol-essential E. coli by an in silico-guided multiple knockout approach and show a laboratory evolved strain can incorporate up to 24% methanol into core metabolites during growth.

    • Fabian Meyer
    • , Philipp Keller
    •  & Julia A. Vorholt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Phenotypic plasticity has been suggested to facilitate survival in new environments and subsequent adaptation. Here, the authors reanalyze transcriptomic data from experimental evolution studies in combination with computational metabolic network analysis and show that genetic adaptation tends to reverse plastic changes in order to recover fitness.

    • Wei-Chin Ho
    •  & Jianzhi Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The ‘pace of life’ depends on both metabolic rate and life history traits; however, whether these evolve similarly in response to the environment is not clear. Here, Auer et al. show parallel evolution of metabolic rate and a suite of life history traits in response to predator environment in Trinidadian guppies.

    • Sonya K. Auer
    • , Cynthia A. Dick
    •  & David N. Reznick
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sexual recombination and mutation rate may play different roles in adaptive evolution depending on the fitness landscape. Here, Peabody et al. examine how the two factors affect the rate of adaptation of an E. coli strain capable of sexual recombination, under different conditions during experimental evolution.

    • George L. Peabody V
    • , Hao Li
    •  & Katy C. Kao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Evolution of resistance is a common cause of cancer treatment failure and tumor progression. Here, the authors present a method for integrating evolutionary principles based on adaptive therapy into abiraterone therapy for metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer and show the positive results of an interim analysis of a trial cohort.

    • Jingsong Zhang
    • , Jessica J. Cunningham
    •  & Robert A. Gatenby
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An E. coli strain able to use CO2 fixation for sugar synthesis was previously generated by experimental evolution of an engineered strain. Here, Herz et al. show that specific mutations in five genes, encoding carbon metabolism enzymes or key regulators, are sufficient to enable robust growth of the strain.

    • Elad Herz
    • , Niv Antonovsky
    •  & Ron Milo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Few studies have explored the effect of a changing environment on artificial chemical evolution. Here, the authors develop an evolutionary platform that alters the physical environment of droplet protocells, showing that a population of simple chemical species can adapt to its surroundings, in analogy to natural evolution.

    • Juan Manuel Parrilla-Gutierrez
    • , Soichiro Tsuda
    •  & Leroy Cronin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is unclear whether strategies involving antibiotic cycling can efficiently control the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Here, Yoshidaet al. show that the evolution of multi-drug-resistant bacteria in vitrocan be manipulated by administering pairs of antibiotics and switching between them.

    • Mari Yoshida
    • , Sabrina Galiñanes Reyes
    •  & Leroy Cronin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Multicellularity can arise by cells aggregating or remaining connected after cell division. Here, Driscoll and Travisano show that both mechanisms operate in experimentally evolved strains of the yeastKluyveromyces lactis, with transient aggregation facilitating the coexistence of unicellular and multicellular genotypes.

    • William W Driscoll
    •  & Michael Travisano
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mistranslation results in amino acid changes in proteins known as phenotypic mutations and these occur at a much higher rate than DNA mutations. Here, the authors show that mistranslation can increase the response to directional selection by exacerbating the fitness effects of deleterious DNA mutations.

    • Sinisa Bratulic
    • , Macarena Toll-Riera
    •  & Andreas Wagner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Knowledge of payoffs has been assumed to be weakly beneficial for the emergence of cooperation between humans. Here the authors provide evidence to the contrary, showing that during interactions in a competitive environment access to information about payoffs leads to less cooperative behaviour.

    • Steffen Huck
    • , Johannes Leutgeb
    •  & Ryan Oprea
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The production of secreted polymers in bacterial biofilms is costly, and therefore mechanisms preventing invasion of non-producing mutants are hypothesized. Here, the authors show that non-producers can evolve the ability to better incorporate into biofilms via phage-mediated interference.

    • Marivic Martin
    • , Anna Dragoš
    •  & Ákos T. Kovács
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Pollinators are thought to be a driver of plant diversification, but their effects are difficult to disentangle from those of other biotic and abiotic factors. Here, the authors let plants evolve under different pollination regimes and show rapid and divergent evolution of plant height, floral traits and mating system.

    • Daniel D. L. Gervasi
    •  & Florian P Schiestl
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Theory suggests that spatial sorting by dispersal ability can generate evolutionarily accelerated range expansions. Using the bean beetleCallosobruchus maculatus, this study shows that evolution not only increases the speed of range expansion, as predicted, but also increases variability.

    • Brad M. Ochocki
    •  & Tom E. X. Miller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spatial structure provides unique opportunities for evolution during range expansions. Here, the authors show experimentally using the red flour beetle,Tribolium castaneum, that dispersal and growth can evolve through spatial processes, increasing expansion speed and its variance.

    • Christopher Weiss-Lehman
    • , Ruth A Hufbauer
    •  & Brett A Melbourne
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Colistin is an antibiotic used in the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis patients. Here, Jochumsen et al. reconstruct the pathways for the molecular evolution of colistin resistance in P. aeruginosaand show that the number of pathways is highly constrained by interactions among genes.

    • Nicholas Jochumsen
    • , Rasmus L. Marvig
    •  & Anders Folkesson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Methods for ancestral sequence reconstruction are currently tested with computer simulations, since true biological phylogenies are unknown. Here, Randall et al.build an experimental phylogeny to benchmark the performance of alternate ancestral sequence reconstruction algorithms in inferring ancestral genotypes and phenotypes.

    • Ryan N. Randall
    • , Caelan E. Radford
    •  & Eric A. Gaucher
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though both the presence and traits of a species can influence the dynamics of its ecological community, the effects of these factors are difficult to disentangle. Here, Gómez et al. demonstrate in a microbial mesocosm that local adaptation of a focal species can influence the community as much as the presence of the focal species per se.

    • Pedro Gómez
    • , Steve Paterson
    •  & Angus Buckling
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Co-evolution of a new receptor-ligand pair will affect the downstream signal transduction network. Here, the authors use experimental evolution of yeast mating receptor Ste2 to show the effect of enhanced binding affinity and weakened interactions with the network's negative regulators on protein evolution.

    • Raphaël B. Di Roberto
    • , Belinda Chang
    •  & Sergio G. Peisajovich
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Maintenance of cooperation in multicellular organisms is hypothesized to depend on high relatedness among cells. Here, Bastiaans et al. provide empirical support for this hypothesis by directly comparing the evolutionary stability of multicellular cooperation in experimental lines of a fungus kept at either high or low relatedness.

    • Eric Bastiaans
    • , Alfons J. M. Debets
    •  & Duur K. Aanen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The biochemical pathways of central carbon metabolism are highly conserved across all domains of life. Here, Courtet al. use a computational approach to test all possible pathways of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis and find that the existing trunk pathways may represent a maximal flux solution selected for during evolution.

    • Steven J. Court
    • , Bartlomiej Waclaw
    •  & Rosalind J. Allen
  • Article |

    Despite apparent morphological diversity, developmental interactions create predictable patterns of variation. Here the authors show that variation in the proportion of limbs, digits and somites and their response to artificial selection follow a rule that predicts the size of sequentially forming structures.

    • Nathan M. Young
    • , Benjamin Winslow
    •  & Kathryn Kavanagh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Copy number variation is an important source of genetic variation in natural populations and may have a role in human disease. Here, the authors identify high-order amplification structures that form large extended chromosomes and suggest that these may occur due to accidental template switching in stress conditions.

    • Agnès Thierry
    • , Varun Khanna
    •  & Bernard Dujon
  • Article |

    Oldowan stone tool-making might have influenced the evolution of human language and teaching. Here the authors show that transmission of Oldowan tool-making skills improves with teaching and language, suggesting that hominin reliance on stone tool-making generated selection for teaching and language.

    • T. J. H. Morgan
    • , N. T. Uomini
    •  & K. N. Laland
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The early steps in the evolution of multicellularity are poorly understood. Here, Ratcliff et al. show that multicellularity can rapidly evolve in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, demonstrating that single-cell developmental bottlenecks may evolve rapidly via co-option of the ancestral phenotype.

    • William C. Ratcliff
    • , Matthew D. Herron
    •  & Michael Travisano
  • Article |

    Studies of male genitalia show patterns of divergent evolution, whereas females have been less well studied. Using experimental evolution and quantitative genetic analysis, Simmons and Garcia-Gonzalez show that sexual selection drives the coevolution of female and male genital morphology in the dung beetleOnthophagus taurus.

    • Leigh W. Simmons
    •  & Francisco Garcia-Gonzalez