UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Measuring microbial fitness in a field reciprocal transplant experiment

Boynton, PJ; Stelkens, R; Kowallik, V; Greig, D; (2016) Measuring microbial fitness in a field reciprocal transplant experiment. Molecular Ecology Resources 10.1111/1755-0998.12562. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
greig_Boynton_et_al-2016-Molecular_Ecology_Resources.pdf

Download (489kB) | Preview

Abstract

Microbial fitness is easy to measure in the laboratory, but difficult to measure in the field. Laboratory fitness assays make use of controlled conditions and genetically modified organisms, neither of which are available in the field. Among other applications, fitness assays can help researchers detect adaptation to different habitats or locations. We designed a competitive fitness assay to detect adaptation of Saccharomyces paradoxus isolates to the habitat they were isolated from (oak or larch leaf litter). The assay accurately measures relative fitness by tracking genotype frequency changes in the field using digital droplet PCR (DDPCR). We expected locally adapted S. paradoxus strains to increase in frequency over time when growing on the leaf litter type from which they were isolated. The DDPCR assay successfully detected fitness differences among S. paradoxus strains, but did not find a tendency for strains to be adapted to the habitat they were isolated from. Instead, we found that the natural alleles of the hexose transport gene we used to distinguish S. paradoxus strains had significant effects on fitness. The origin of a strain also affected its fitness: strains isolated from oak litter were generally fitter than strains from larch litter. Our results suggest that dispersal limitation and genetic drift shape S. paradoxus populations in the forest more than local selection does, although further research is needed to confirm this. Tracking genotype frequency changes using DDPCR is a practical and accurate microbial fitness assay for natural environments.

Type: Article
Title: Measuring microbial fitness in a field reciprocal transplant experiment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12562
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.12562
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Dispersal, hexose transporter, local adaptation, population, relative fitness, yeast
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1505844
Downloads since deposit
60Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item