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The consistency of beneficial fitness effects of mutations across diverse genetic backgrounds.


ABSTRACT: Parallel and convergent evolution have been remarkably common observations in molecular adaptation but primarily in the context of the same genotype adapting to the same conditions. These phenomena therefore tell us about the stochasticity and limitations of adaptation. The limited data on convergence and parallelism in the adaptation of different genotypes conflict as to the importance of such events. If the effects of beneficial mutations are highly context dependent (i.e., if they are epistatic), different genotypes should adapt through different mutations. Epistasis for beneficial mutations has been investigated but mainly through measurement of interactions between individually beneficial mutations for the same genotype. We examine epistasis for beneficial mutations at a broader genetic scale by measuring the fitness effects of two mutations beneficial for the ssDNA bacteriophage ID11 in eight different, related genotypes showing 0.3-3.7% nucleotide divergence from ID11. We found no evidence for sign epistasis, but the mutations tended to have much smaller or no effects on fitness in the new genotypes. We found evidence for diminishing-returns epistasis; the effects were more beneficial for lower-fitness genotypes. The patterns of epistasis were not determined by phylogenetic relationships to the original genotype. To improve our understanding of the patterns of epistasis, we fit the data to a model in which each mutation had a constant, nonepistatic phenotypic effect across genotypes and the phenotype-fitness map had a single optimum. This model fit the data well, suggesting that epistasis for these mutations was due to nonlinearity in the phenotype-fitness mapping and that the likelihood of parallel evolution depends more on phenotype than on genotype.

SUBMITTER: Pearson VM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3427303 | BioStudies | 2012-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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