|Comparative genome sequencing of Escherichia coli allows observation of bacterial evolution on a laboratory timescale.
|Year of Publication
|C.D. Herring; A. Raghunathan; C. Honisch; T. Patel; K.M. Applebee; A.R. Joyce; T.J. Albert; F.R. Blattner; D. Boom; C.R. Cantor; B.Ø. Palsson
|PLoS Comput Biol
|We applied whole-genome resequencing of Escherichia coli to monitor the acquisition and fixation of mutations that conveyed a selective growth advantage during adaptation to a glycerol-based growth medium. We identified 13 different de novo mutations in five different E. coli strains and monitored their fixation over a 44-d period of adaptation. We obtained proof that the observed spontaneous mutations were responsible for improved fitness by creating single, double and triple site-directed mutants that had growth rates matching those of the evolved strains. The success of this new genome-scale approach indicates that real-time evolution studies will now be practical in a wide variety of contexts.