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Effect of mutation supply on population dynamics and trait evolution in an experimental microbial community

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Becks,  Lutz
Emmy-Noether-Group Community Dynamics, Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;
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https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pvmcvdnn3
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Citation

Cairns, J., Jousset, A., Becks, L., & Hiltunen, T. (2022). Effect of mutation supply on population dynamics and trait evolution in an experimental microbial community. Ecology Letters, 25(2), 355-365. doi:10.1111/ele.13922.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-F087-F
Abstract
Abstract Mutation supply can influence evolutionary and thereby ecological dynamics in important ways which have received little attention. Mutation supply influences features of population genetics, such as the pool of adaptive mutations, evolutionary pathways and importance of processes, such as clonal interference. The resultant trait evolutionary dynamics, in turn, can alter population size and species interactions. However, controlled experiments testing for the importance of mutation supply on rapid adaptation and thereby population and community dynamics have primarily been restricted to the first of these aspects. To close this knowledge gap, we performed a serial passage experiment with wild-type Pseudomonas fluorescens and a mutant with reduced mutation rate. Bacteria were grown at two resource levels in combination with the presence of a ciliate predator. A higher mutation supply enabled faster adaptation to the low-resource environment and anti-predatory defence. This was associated with higher population size at the ecological level and better access to high-recurrence mutational targets at the genomic level with higher mutation supply. In contrast, mutation rate did not affect growth under high-resource level. Our results demonstrate that intrinsic mutation rate influences population dynamics and trait evolution particularly when population size is constrained by extrinsic conditions.