Mutators in space: the dynamics of high-mutability in a two-patch model

E R Travis (Corresponding Author), Justin Mark John Travis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clones of bacteria possessing high-mutability rates (or mutators) are being observed in an increasing number of species. In a constant environment most mutations are deleterious, and hence the spontaneous mutation rate is generally low. However, mutators may play an important role in the adaptation of organisms to changing environments. To date, theoretical work has focused on temporal variability in the environment, implicitly assuming that environmental conditions are constant through space. Here, we develop a two-patch model to investigate how spatiotemporal environmental variability and dispersal might influence mutator dynamics. Environmental conditions in each patch fluctuate between two states; the rate of fluctuation varies in each patch at differing phase angles. We find that at low and intermediate rates of fluctuation, an increase in dispersal results in a decrease in the density of mutators. However, at high rates of environmental change, dispersal causes an increase in mutator density. For all frequencies of environmental fluctuation these trends are enhanced as the phase angle approaches 180degrees. We argue that future work, both empirical and theoretical, is needed to improve our understanding of how spatiotemporal variability impacts on mutator densities and dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-522
Number of pages10
JournalGenetics
Volume167
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2004

Keywords

  • high mutation rates
  • spatial heterogeneity
  • Escherichia coli
  • adaptive evolution
  • high frequency
  • populations
  • landscape
  • bacteria
  • environments
  • selection

Cite this

Mutators in space : the dynamics of high-mutability in a two-patch model. / Travis, E R (Corresponding Author); Travis, Justin Mark John.

In: Genetics, Vol. 167, No. 1, 05.2004, p. 513-522.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3f967acf245a4e56b6a67802eed892f5,
title = "Mutators in space: the dynamics of high-mutability in a two-patch model",
abstract = "Clones of bacteria possessing high-mutability rates (or mutators) are being observed in an increasing number of species. In a constant environment most mutations are deleterious, and hence the spontaneous mutation rate is generally low. However, mutators may play an important role in the adaptation of organisms to changing environments. To date, theoretical work has focused on temporal variability in the environment, implicitly assuming that environmental conditions are constant through space. Here, we develop a two-patch model to investigate how spatiotemporal environmental variability and dispersal might influence mutator dynamics. Environmental conditions in each patch fluctuate between two states; the rate of fluctuation varies in each patch at differing phase angles. We find that at low and intermediate rates of fluctuation, an increase in dispersal results in a decrease in the density of mutators. However, at high rates of environmental change, dispersal causes an increase in mutator density. For all frequencies of environmental fluctuation these trends are enhanced as the phase angle approaches 180degrees. We argue that future work, both empirical and theoretical, is needed to improve our understanding of how spatiotemporal variability impacts on mutator densities and dynamics.",
keywords = "high mutation rates, spatial heterogeneity, Escherichia coli, adaptive evolution, high frequency, populations, landscape , bacteria, environments, selection",
author = "Travis, {E R} and Travis, {Justin Mark John}",
year = "2004",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1534/genetics.167.1.513",
language = "English",
volume = "167",
pages = "513--522",
journal = "Genetics",
issn = "0016-6731",
publisher = "Genetics Society of America",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mutators in space

T2 - the dynamics of high-mutability in a two-patch model

AU - Travis, E R

AU - Travis, Justin Mark John

PY - 2004/5

Y1 - 2004/5

N2 - Clones of bacteria possessing high-mutability rates (or mutators) are being observed in an increasing number of species. In a constant environment most mutations are deleterious, and hence the spontaneous mutation rate is generally low. However, mutators may play an important role in the adaptation of organisms to changing environments. To date, theoretical work has focused on temporal variability in the environment, implicitly assuming that environmental conditions are constant through space. Here, we develop a two-patch model to investigate how spatiotemporal environmental variability and dispersal might influence mutator dynamics. Environmental conditions in each patch fluctuate between two states; the rate of fluctuation varies in each patch at differing phase angles. We find that at low and intermediate rates of fluctuation, an increase in dispersal results in a decrease in the density of mutators. However, at high rates of environmental change, dispersal causes an increase in mutator density. For all frequencies of environmental fluctuation these trends are enhanced as the phase angle approaches 180degrees. We argue that future work, both empirical and theoretical, is needed to improve our understanding of how spatiotemporal variability impacts on mutator densities and dynamics.

AB - Clones of bacteria possessing high-mutability rates (or mutators) are being observed in an increasing number of species. In a constant environment most mutations are deleterious, and hence the spontaneous mutation rate is generally low. However, mutators may play an important role in the adaptation of organisms to changing environments. To date, theoretical work has focused on temporal variability in the environment, implicitly assuming that environmental conditions are constant through space. Here, we develop a two-patch model to investigate how spatiotemporal environmental variability and dispersal might influence mutator dynamics. Environmental conditions in each patch fluctuate between two states; the rate of fluctuation varies in each patch at differing phase angles. We find that at low and intermediate rates of fluctuation, an increase in dispersal results in a decrease in the density of mutators. However, at high rates of environmental change, dispersal causes an increase in mutator density. For all frequencies of environmental fluctuation these trends are enhanced as the phase angle approaches 180degrees. We argue that future work, both empirical and theoretical, is needed to improve our understanding of how spatiotemporal variability impacts on mutator densities and dynamics.

KW - high mutation rates

KW - spatial heterogeneity

KW - Escherichia coli

KW - adaptive evolution

KW - high frequency

KW - populations

KW - landscape

KW - bacteria

KW - environments

KW - selection

U2 - 10.1534/genetics.167.1.513

DO - 10.1534/genetics.167.1.513

M3 - Article

VL - 167

SP - 513

EP - 522

JO - Genetics

JF - Genetics

SN - 0016-6731

IS - 1

ER -