Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Environ Microbiol. 2015 Mar;17(3):889-900. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12551. Epub 2014 Jul 21.

Differential stress resistance and metabolic traits underlie coexistence in a sympatrically evolved bacterial population.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbial Ecology, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Following intermittent batch growth in Luria-Bertani (LB) broth for about 1000 generations, differentially evolved forms were found in a population of Escherichia coli cells. Studies on this population revealed the emergence of key polymorphisms, as evidenced by analysis of both whole genome sequences and transcription analysis. Here, we investigated the phenotypic nature of several key forms and found a remarkable (interactive) coexistence of forms which highlights the presence of different ecological roles pointing at a dichotomy in: (i) tolerance to environmental stresses and (ii) the capacity to utilize particular carbon sources such as galactose. Both forms differed from their common ancestor by different criteria. This apparent coexistence of two diverged forms points at the occurrence of niche partitioning as a consequence of dichotomous adaptive evolution. Remarkably, the two forms were shown to continue to coexist - in varying ratio's - in an experiment that cycled them through periods of nutrient feast (plentiful growth substrates) and famine (growth-restrictive - stress conditions). The results further indicated that the equilibrium of the coexistence was destroyed when one of the parameters was high tuned, jeopardizing the stability of the coexisting pair.

© 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk