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Biol Lett. 2011 Feb 23;7(1):98-100. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0547. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

The distribution of fitness effects of new beneficial mutations in Pseudomonas fluorescens.

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1
New Zealand Institute For Advanced Study, Massey University at Albany, Private Bag 102904, North Shore Mail Centre, Auckland 0745, New Zealand. mikejmcdonald@yahoo.com

Abstract

Theoretical studies of adaptation emphasize the importance of understanding the distribution of fitness effects (DFE) of new mutations. We report the isolation of 100 adaptive mutants-without the biasing influence of natural selection-from an ancestral genotype whose fitness in the niche occupied by the derived type is extremely low. The fitness of each derived genotype was determined relative to a single reference type and the fitness effects found to conform to a normal distribution. When fitness was measured in a different environment, the rank order changed, but not the shape of the distribution. We argue that, even with detailed knowledge of the genetic architecture underpinning the adaptive types (as is the case here), the DFEs remain unpredictable, and we discuss the possibility that general explanations for the shape of the DFE might not be possible in the absence of organism-specific biological details.

PMID:
20659918
PMCID:
PMC3030884
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2010.0547
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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