Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Biol. 2004 Feb 6;336(1):61-7.

Negative effect of genetic bottlenecks on the adaptability of vesicular stomatitis virus.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical College of Ohio, 3055 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614-5806, USA.


Muller's ratchet is a principle of evolutionary genetics describing mutant accumulation in populations that are repeatedly subjected to genetic bottleneck. The immediate effect of Muller's ratchet, overall loss of fitness, has been confirmed in several viral systems belonging to different groups. This report shows that in addition to fitness loss, genetic bottlenecks also have longer-term effects, namely changes in the capacity of viral populations to adapt. Thus, vesicular stomatitis virus strains with a history of genetic bottleneck have lower adaptability than strains maintained at relatively large population sizes. This lower adaptability is illustrated by their reduced ability to regain fitness and by their inability to outcompete wild-type populations in situations where the initial fitness of the bottlenecked mutant is the same or even higher than the initial fitness of the wild-type.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center