Aug 6, 2014

Different tradeoffs result from alternate genetic adaptations to a common environment

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Alejandra Rodríguez-VerdugoAlbert F Bennett


Fitness tradeoffs are often assumed by evolutionary theory, yet little is known about the frequency of fitness tradeoffs during stress adaptation. Even less is known about the genetic factors that confer these tradeoffs and whether alternative adaptive mutations yield contrasting tradeoff dynamics. We addressed these issues using 114 clones of Escherichia coli that were evolved independently for 2,000 generations under thermal stress (42.2 °C). For each clone, we measured their fitness relative to the ancestral clone at 37 °C and 20 °C. Tradeoffs were common at 37 °C but more prevalent at 20 °C, where 56% of clones were outperformed by the ancestor. We also characterized the upper and lower thermal boundaries of each clone. All clones shifted their upper boundary to at least 45 °C; roughly half increased their lower niche boundary concomitantly, representing a shift of thermal niche. The remaining clones expanded their thermal niche by increasing their upper limit without a commensurate increase of lower limit. We associated these niche dynamics with genotypes and confirmed associations by engineering single mutations in the rpoB gene, which encodes the beta subunit of RNA polymerase, and the rho gene, which encodes a terminati...Continue Reading

  • References20
  • Citations33


  • References20
  • Citations33

Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
RHO gene
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
DNA-Directed RNA Polymerase
RNA Polymerase Assembly Pathway
Transcription, Genetic
Contrast Used
Rho Gene (Procedure)

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