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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 May 13;106(19):198102. Epub 2011 May 11.

Hidden randomness between fitness landscapes limits reverse evolution.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA. tantan@mit.edu

Abstract

In biological evolution, adaptations to one environment can in some cases reverse adaptations to another environment. To study this "reverse evolution" on a genotypic level, we measured the fitness of E. coli strains with each possible combination of five mutations in an antibiotic-resistance gene in two distinct antibiotic environments. While adaptations to one environment generally lower fitness in the other, we find that reverse evolution is rarely possible and falls as the complexity of adaptations increases, suggesting a probabilistic, molecular form of Dollo's law.

PMID:
21668204
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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