Whether evolution is erratic due to random historical details, or is repeatedly directed along similar paths by certain constraints, remains unclear. Epistasis (i.e. non-additive interaction between mutations that affect fitness) is a mechanism that can contribute to both scenarios. Epistasis can constrain the type and order of selected mutations, but it… (More)
Understanding epistasis is central to biology. For instance, epistatic interactions determine the topography of the fitness landscape and affect the dynamics and determinism of adaptation. However, few empirical data are available, and comparing results is complicated by confounding variation in the system and the type of mutations used. Here, we take a… (More)
Genetic divergence in geographically isolated populations is a prerequisite for allopatric speciation, one of the most common modes of speciation. In ecologically equivalent populations existing within a small, environmentally homogeneous area, an important role for environmentally neutral divergence is often found or inferred. We studied a species complex… (More)
Pleiotropy is a key feature of the genotype-phenotype map, and its form and extent have many evolutionary implications, including for the dynamics of adaptation and the evolution of specialization. Similarly, pleiotropic effects of antibiotic resistance mutations may affect the evolution of antibiotic resistance in the simultaneous or fluctuating presence… (More)
Evolution has no foresight, but produces ad hoc solutions by tinkering with available variation. A new study demonstrates how evolution nevertheless prepares organisms for the future by increasing their evolvability.