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Creators/Authors contains: "Good, Benjamin H."

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  1. Abstract

    The fitness effects of all possible mutations available to an organism largely shape the dynamics of evolutionary adaptation. Yet, whether and how this adaptive landscape changes over evolutionary times, especially upon ecological diversification and changes in community composition, remains poorly understood. We sought to fill this gap by analyzing a stable community of two closely related ecotypes (“L” and “S”) shortly after they emerged within theE. coliLong-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE). We engineered genome-wide barcoded transposon libraries to measure the invasion fitness effects of all possible gene knockouts in the coexisting strains as well as their ancestor, for many different, ecologically relevant conditions. We find consistent statistical patterns of fitness effect variation across both genetic background and community composition, despite the idiosyncratic behavior of individual knockouts. Additionally, fitness effects are correlated with evolutionary outcomes for a number of conditions, possibly revealing shifting patterns of adaptation. Together, our results reveal how ecological and epistatic effects combine to shape the adaptive landscape in a nascent ecological community.

  2. Across diverse microbiotas, species abundances vary in time with distinctive statistical behaviors that appear to generalize across hosts, but the origins and implications of these patterns remain unclear. Here, we show that many of these macroecological patterns can be quantitatively recapitulated by a simple class of consumer-resource models, in which the metabolic capabilities of different species are randomly drawn from a common statistical distribution. Our model parametrizes the consumer-resource properties of a community using only a small number of global parameters, including the total number of resources, typical resource fluctuations over time, and the average overlap in resource-consumption profiles across species. We show that variation in these macroscopic parameters strongly affects the time series statistics generated by the model, and we identify specific sets of global parameters that can recapitulate macroecological patterns across wide-ranging microbiotas, including the human gut, saliva, and vagina, as well as mouse gut and rice, without needing to specify microscopic details of resource consumption. These findings suggest that resource competition may be a dominant driver of community dynamics. Our work unifies numerous time series patterns under a simple model, and provides an accessible framework to infer macroscopic parameters of effective resource competition from longitudinal studies ofmore »microbial communities.« less
  3. Microbial communities can evade competitive exclusion by diversifying into distinct ecological niches. This spontaneous diversification often occurs amid a backdrop of directional selection on other microbial traits, where competitive exclusion would normally apply. Yet despite their empirical relevance, little is known about how diversification and directional selection combine to determine the ecological and evolutionary dynamics within a community. To address this gap, we introduce a simple, empirically motivated model of eco-evolutionary feedback based on the competition for substitutable resources. Individuals acquire heritable mutations that alter resource uptake rates, either by shifting metabolic effort between resources or by increasing the overall growth rate. While these constitutively beneficial mutations are trivially favored to invade, we show that the accumulated fitness differences can dramatically influence the ecological structure and evolutionary dynamics that emerge within the community. Competition between ecological diversification and ongoing fitness evolution leads to a state of diversification–selection balance, in which the number of extant ecotypes can be pinned below the maximum capacity of the ecosystem, while the ecotype frequencies and genealogies are constantly in flux. Interestingly, we find that fitness differences generate emergent selection pressures to shift metabolic effort toward resources with lower effective competition, even in saturated ecosystems. Wemore »argue that similar dynamical features should emerge in a wide range of models with a mixture of directional and diversifying selection.

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