Vaughn S. Cooper

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Twelve populations of the bacterium, Escherichia coli, adapted to a simple, glucose-limited, laboratory environment over 10,000 generations. As a consequence, these populations tended to lose functionality on alternative resources. I examined whether these populations in turn became inferior competitors in four alternative environments. These experiments(More)
Twelve populations of Escherichia coli B all lost D-ribose catabolic function during 2,000 generations of evolution in glucose minimal medium. We sought to identify the population genetic processes and molecular genetic events that caused these rapid and parallel losses. Seven independent Rbs(-) mutants were isolated, and their competitive fitnesses were(More)
When organisms adapt genetically to one environment, they may lose fitness in other environments. Two distinct population genetic processes can produce ecological specialization-mutation accumulation and antagonistic pleiotropy. In mutation accumulation, mutations become fixed by genetic drift in genes that are not maintained by selection; adaptation to one(More)
For more than two decades there has been intense debate over the hypothesis that most morphological evolution occurs during relatively brief episodes of rapid change that punctuate much longer periods of stasis. A clear and unambiguous case of punctuated evolution is presented for cell size in a population of Escherichia coli evolving for 3000 generations(More)
It has been hypothesized that there is a fundamental conflict between horizontal (infectious) and vertical (intergenerational) modes of parasite transmission. Activities of a parasite that increase its rate of infectious transmission are presumed to reduce its host's fitness. This reduction in host fitness impedes vertical transmission of the parasite and(More)
In bacterial genomes composed of more than one chromosome, one replicon is typically larger, harbors more essential genes than the others, and is considered primary. The greater variability of secondary chromosomes among related taxa has led to the theory that they serve as an accessory genome for specific niches or conditions. By this rationale, purifying(More)
Spontaneous mutations are ultimately essential for evolutionary change and are also the root cause of many diseases. However, until recently, both biological and technical barriers have prevented detailed analyses of mutation profiles, constraining our understanding of the mutation process to a few model organisms and leaving major gaps in our understanding(More)
Twelve experimental populations of the bacterium Escherichia coli evolved for 20,000 generations in a defined medium at 37 degrees C. We measured their maximum growth rates across a broad range of temperatures and at several evolutionary time points to quantify the extent to which they became thermal specialists with diminished performance at other(More)
How diversity evolves and persists in biofilms is essential for understanding much of microbial life, including the uncertain dynamics of chronic infections. We developed a biofilm model enabling long-term selection for daily adherence to and dispersal from a plastic bead in a test tube. Focusing on a pathogen of the cystic fibrosis lung, Burkholderia(More)
Evolutionary pathways open to even relatively simple organisms, such as bacteria, may lead to complex and unpredictable phenotypic changes, both adaptive and non-adaptive. The evolutionary pathways taken by 18 populations of Ralstonia strain TFD41 while they evolved in defined environments for 1000 generations were examined. Twelve populations evolved in(More)