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Experimental evolution of the grain of metabolic specialization in yeast

Samani, P; Bell, G; (2016) Experimental evolution of the grain of metabolic specialization in yeast. Ecology and Evolution , 6 (12) pp. 3912-3922. 10.1002/ece3.2151. Green open access

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Abstract

Adaptation to any given environment may be accompanied by a cost in terms of reduced growth in the ancestral or some alternative environment. Ecologists explain the cost of adaptation through the concept of a trade‐off, by which gaining a new trait involves losing another trait. Two mechanisms have been invoked to explain the evolution of trade‐offs in ecological systems, mutational degradation, and functional interference. Mutational degradation occurs when a gene coding a specific trait is not under selection in the resident environment; therefore, it may be degraded through the accumulation of mutations that are neutral in the resident environment but deleterious in an alternative environment. Functional interference evolves if the gene or a set of genes have antagonistic effects in two or more ecologically different traits. Both mechanisms pertain to a situation where the selection and the alternative environments are ecologically different. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment in which 12 experimental populations of wild yeast were each grown in a minimal medium supplemented with a single substrate. We chose 12 different carbon substrates that were metabolized through similar and different pathways in order to represent a wide range of ecological conditions. We found no evidence for trade‐offs between substrates on the same pathway. The indirect response of substrates on other pathways, however, was consistently negative, with little correlation between the direct and indirect responses. We conclude that the grain of specialization in this case is the metabolic pathway and that specialization appears to evolve through mutational degradation.

Type: Article
Title: Experimental evolution of the grain of metabolic specialization in yeast
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2151
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2151
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution 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: Cost of adaptation, functional interference, local adaptation, metabolic pathway, metabolic specialization, mutation accumulation, reciprocal transplant assay, Saccharomyces paradoxus, selection, trade-off
UCL classification: UCL
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060385
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