Allele Surfing Promotes Microbial Adaptation from Standing Variation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Matti GralkaOskar Hallatschek

Abstract

The coupling of ecology and evolution during range expansions enables mutations to establish at expanding range margins and reach high frequencies. This phenomenon, called allele surfing, is thought to have caused revolutions in the gene pool of many species, most evidently in microbial communities. It has remained unclear, however, under which conditions allele surfing promotes or hinders adaptation. Here, using microbial experiments and simulations, we show that, starting with standing adaptive variation, range expansions generate a larger increase in mean fitness than spatially uniform population expansions. The adaptation gain results from 'soft' selective sweeps emerging from surfing beneficial mutations. The rate of these surfing events is shown to sensitively depend on the strength of genetic drift, which varies among strains and environmental conditions. More generally, allele surfing promotes the rate of adaptation per biomass produced, which could help developing biofilms and other resource-limited populations to cope with environmental challenges.

Related Concepts

Genetic Drift
Genes
Environment
Cell Growth
Adaptation
Standing Position
Microbial
Simulation
Short Stature, Onychodysplasia, Facial Dysmorphism, AND Hypotrichosis Syndrome
Species

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.

Biofilm & Infectious Disease

Biofilm formation is a key virulence factor for a wide range of microorganisms that cause chronic infections.Here is the latest research on biofilm and infectious diseases.

Related Papers

Molecular Biology and Evolution
Seraina KlopfsteinLaurent Excoffier
Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Oskar Hallatschek, David R Nelson
The American Naturalist
Stephan PeischlLaurent Excoffier
© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved