Chapter

Long-Term Experimental Evolution and Adaptive Radiation

Michael Travisano

in Experimental Evolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780520247666
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944473 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247666.003.0006
Long-Term Experimental Evolution and Adaptive Radiation

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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

Chapter.  8684 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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