Recap: What We’ve Learned about Evolution from the LTEE: Numbers 1-5

This post provides a brief recap, at the halfway point, of the main findings and discoveries from the long-term evolution experiment (LTEE) with E. coli.  My goal is to summarize in a series of ~10 posts the most important findings and discoveries, as I see them, in broad, conceptual terms.  The first five entries are listed here, with links to those posts.

Number 1.  The LTEE offers a simple, compelling demonstration of adaptation by natural selection.

Number 2.  Although the rate of improvement decelerates, it appears that fitness can increase indefinitely even in a constant environment.

Number 3.  The LTEE has produced many striking examples of both parallel and divergent evolution across the replicate populations.

Number 4.  The LTEE provides fascinating cases of the origin and evolution of a novel function and complex ecological interactions.

Number 5.  Some of the LTEE populations have undergone large changes in their mutation rate, which reflect a tradeoff between short-term fitness and long-term evolvability.

The picture below shows a few of the petri dishes used in the LTEE.  It was taken by Brian Baer, MSU.

plate_pile

3 Comments

Filed under Science

3 responses to “Recap: What We’ve Learned about Evolution from the LTEE: Numbers 1-5

  1. Pingback: Recap: What We’ve Learned about Evolution...

  2. Pingback: “Ham on Nye” Debate, Follow-up #1 | Telliamed Revisited

  3. Pingback: Evolutionary game theory without interactions | Theory, Evolution, and Games Group

Leave a comment. However, please stay on topic. Argumentative and muddled comments may be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s