Evolution by flight and fight: Diverse mechanisms of adaptation by actively motile microbes
Velicer, Gregory J.
- Journal Article
Evolutionary adaptation can be achieved by mechanisms accessible to all organisms, including faster growth and interference competition, but self-generated motility offers additional possibilities. We tested whether 55 populations of the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus that underwent selection for increased fitness at the leading edge of swarming colonies adapted by swarming faster toward unused resources or by other means. Populations adapted greatly but diversified markedly in both swarming phenotypes and apparent mechanisms of adaptation. Intriguingly, although many adapted populations swarm intrinsically faster than their ancestors, numerous others do not. Some populations evolved interference competition toward their ancestors, whereas others gained the ability to facultatively increase swarming rate specifically upon direct interaction with ancestral competitors. Our results both highlight the diverse range of mechanisms by which actively motile organisms can adapt evolutionarily and help to explain the high levels of swarming-phenotype diversity found in local soil populations of M. xanthus Show more
Journal / seriesThe ISME Journal
Organisational unit03939 - Velicer, Gregory J.
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