The First Steps of Adaptation of to the Gut Are Dominated by Soft Sweeps


Adaptation to novel environments involves the accumulation of beneficial mutations. If these are rare the process will proceed slowly with each one sweeping to fixation on its own. On the contrary if they are common in clonal populations, individuals carrying different beneficial alleles will experience intense competition and only those clones carrying the stronger effect mutations will leave a future line of descent. This phenomenon is known as clonal interference and the extent to which it occurs in natural environments is unknown. One of the most complex natural environments for E. coli is the mammalian intestine, where it evolves in the presence of many species comprising the gut microbiota. We have studied the dynamics of adaptation of E. coli populations evolving in this relevant ecosystem. We show that clonal interference is pervasive in the mouse gut and that the targets of natural selection are similar in independently E. coli evolving populations. These results illustrate how experimental evolution in natural environments allows us to dissect the mechanisms underlying adaptation and its complex dynamics and further reveal the importance of mobile genetic elements in contributing to the adaptive diversification of bacterial populations in the gut.


Vyšlo v časopise: The First Steps of Adaptation of to the Gut Are Dominated by Soft Sweeps. PLoS Genet 10(3): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004182
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004182

Souhrn

Adaptation to novel environments involves the accumulation of beneficial mutations. If these are rare the process will proceed slowly with each one sweeping to fixation on its own. On the contrary if they are common in clonal populations, individuals carrying different beneficial alleles will experience intense competition and only those clones carrying the stronger effect mutations will leave a future line of descent. This phenomenon is known as clonal interference and the extent to which it occurs in natural environments is unknown. One of the most complex natural environments for E. coli is the mammalian intestine, where it evolves in the presence of many species comprising the gut microbiota. We have studied the dynamics of adaptation of E. coli populations evolving in this relevant ecosystem. We show that clonal interference is pervasive in the mouse gut and that the targets of natural selection are similar in independently E. coli evolving populations. These results illustrate how experimental evolution in natural environments allows us to dissect the mechanisms underlying adaptation and its complex dynamics and further reveal the importance of mobile genetic elements in contributing to the adaptive diversification of bacterial populations in the gut.


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