The population genetics of phenotypic deterioration in experimental populations of Bacillus subtilis

Heather Maughan, Victoria Callicotte, Adam Hancock, C. William Birky, Wayne L. Nicholson, Joanna Masel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although many examples of trait loss exist in nature, the underlying population genetic mechanism responsible for the loss is usually unknown. Selective or neutral processes can result in the deterioration of a trait, and often one of these is inferred based on indirect evidence. Furthermore, selective pressures that are unique to particular environments and the effect these might have on the population genetic cause of trait loss are not well understood. Here we describe an experimental evolution system where two different environments were used for addressing the population genetic cause of trait loss throughout evolutionary time. We found that growth in minimal medium (i.e., prototrophy) was lost in all populations regardless of the experimental environment and that the pattern of trait loss in one environment was due to selection, whereas in the other environment the cause remains inconclusive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-695
Number of pages10
JournalEvolution
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Experimental evolution
  • Mutation accumulation
  • Prototrophy
  • Regressive evolution
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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