Shortening the odds against evolutionary change

Concar, David
September 1991
New Scientist;9/21/91, Vol. 131 Issue 1787, p32
The article discusses the study by researcher Barry Hall of the University of Rochester, New York, which shows that the bacterium Escherichia coil has a hitherto unrecognised talent, the ability to manipulate the rate at which favourable combinations of "chance" mutations appear in its genes. Hall's study broaches one of the most vexing questions of all in evolutionary biology, how adaptive changes that depend on many chance mutations ever arise. It suggests that E. coli is somehow able to leap the barriers to certain adaptations.


Related Articles

  • Asymmetrical Evolution of Cytochrome bd Subunits. Weilong Hao; Golding, G. // Journal of Molecular Evolution;Feb2006, Vol. 62 Issue 2, p132 

    Functionally linked genes generally evolve at similar rates and the knowledge of this particular feature of genomic evolution has been used as the basis for the phylogenetic profiling method. We illustrate here an exception to this rule in the evolution of the cytochrome bd complex. This is a...

  • In Vitro Evolution and Affinity-Maturation with Coliphage Qβ Display. Skamel, Claudia; Aller, Stephen G.; Bopda Waffo, Alain // PLoS ONE;Nov2014, Vol. 9 Issue 11, p1 

    The Escherichia coli bacteriophage, Qβ (Coliphage Qβ), offers a favorable alternative to M13 for in vitro evolution of displayed peptides and proteins due to high mutagenesis rates in Qβ RNA replication that better simulate the affinity maturation processes of the immune response. We...

  • Expression Profiles Reveal Parallel Evolution of Epistatic Interactions Involving the CRP Regulon in Escherichia coli. Cooper, Tim F.; Remold, Susanna K.; Lenski, Richard E.; Schneider, Dominique // PLoS Genetics;Feb2008, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p1 

    The extent and nature of epistatic interactions between mutations are issues of fundamental importance in evolutionary biology. However, they are difficult to study and their influence on adaptation remains poorly understood. Here, we use a systems-level approach to examine epistatic...

  • Contact Density Affects Protein Evolutionary Rate from Bacteria to Animals. Tong Zhou; Drummond, D. Allan; Wilke, Claus O. // Journal of Molecular Evolution;Apr2008, Vol. 66 Issue 4, p395 

    The density of contacts or the fraction of buried sites in a protein structure is thought to be related to a protein’s designability, and genes encoding more designable proteins should evolve faster than other genes. Several recent studies have tested this hypothesis but have found...

  • Recombination Speeds Adaptation by Reducing Competition between Beneficial Mutations in Populations of Escherichia coli. Cooper, Tim F. // PLoS Biology;Sep2007, Vol. 5 Issue 9, pe225 

    Why there is sexual reproduction is an important question. Here the authors show that making bacteria have sex allows faster accumulation and fixation of beneficial mutations.

  • Describing the structural robustness landscape of bacterial small RNAs.  // BMC Evolutionary Biology;2012, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p52 

    The article presents the findings of a research conducted on explaining the structural robustness landscape of bacterial small RNAs. It discusses the methodology of the research. It mentions that the evolution of robustness is likely dependent upon the environmental stability of the cell. It...

  • Evidence of non-random mutation rates suggests an evolutionary risk management strategy. Martincorena, Iñigo; Seshasayee, Aswin S. N.; Luscombe, Nicholas M. // Nature;5/3/2012, Vol. 485 Issue 7396, p95 

    A central tenet in evolutionary theory is that mutations occur randomly with respect to their value to an organism; selection then governs whether they are fixed in a population. This principle has been challenged by long-standing theoretical models predicting that selection could modulate the...

  • Stop and Go. Piazza, Flavia // Sciences;Jan/Feb2001, Vol. 41 Issue 1, p7 

    Examines the mutation ability of the bacteria Escherichia coli. Role of mismatch-repair genes; Presence of mutators in a natural population; Role of the genes in adapting to the environment.

  • Using Transposon Mutagenesis to Find an Alternative Resolvase in an Escherichia coli Cells Lacking RuvABC. Jaktaji, Razieh Pourahmad // Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences;2009, Vol. 12 Issue 6, p534 

    This study was undertaken to identify an unknown resolvase in an E. coli strain lacking RuvABC (N4237) by using transposon mutagenesis. One out of 10000 clones was retained for further study as it was resistant to UV light and mitomycin C. The result of transductional mapping and PCR sequencing...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics