Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Lett. 2008 Feb 23;4(1):57-9.

The effect of spatial structure on adaptation in Escherichia coli.

Author information

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande, no 6, 2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal.


Populations of organisms are generally organized in a given spatial structure. However, the vast majority of population genetic studies are based on populations in which every individual competes globally. Here we use experimental evolution in Escherichia coli to directly test a recently made prediction that spatial structure slows down adaptation and that this cost increases with the mutation rate. This was studied by comparing populations of different mutation rates adapting to a liquid (unstructured) medium with populations that evolved in a Petri dish on solid (structured) medium. We find that mutators adapt faster to both environments and that adaptation is slower if there is spatial structure. We observed no significant difference in the cost of structure between mutator and wild-type populations, which suggests that clonal interference is intense in both genetic backgrounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center