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Experimental EvolutionConcepts, Methods, and Applications of Selection Experiments$
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Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520247666

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520247666.001.0001

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Long-Term Experimental Evolution and Adaptive Radiation

Long-Term Experimental Evolution and Adaptive Radiation

(p.111) 6 Long-Term Experimental Evolution and Adaptive Radiation
Experimental Evolution

Michael Travisano

University of California Press

Long-term evolution studies are selection experiments that are particularly useful for understanding the causes of evolutionary change. Adaptive radiation is one of the major features of evolution that can be analyzed in detail using long-term experimental evolution. This chapter discusses long-term microbial experimental evolution studies to examine chance impacts on adaptation, and also presents experimental studies of adaptive radiations in microbial selection experiments. One example is the phenotypic diversification observed in the case of the rapid evolution of Pseudomonas fluorescens in a nutrient-rich spatially structured environment. In three days, a single genotype of P. fluorescens diversifies into at least three morph phenotypes that are easily differentiated when sampled onto nutrient-rich solid medium and allowed to form colonies. This experimental study identifies two key aspects of the environment that lead to diversification: spatial structure and nutrient richness. The absence of either precludes initial diversification or leads to loss of diversity if removed after diversification.

Keywords:   long-term evolution, selection experiments, adaptive radiation, phenotypic diversification, Pseudomonas fluorescens, diversification, spatial structure, nutrient richness

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