Experimental social evolution with Myxococcus xanthus

  title={Experimental social evolution with Myxococcus xanthus},
  author={Gregory J. Velicer and Kristina L. Stredwick},
  journal={Antonie van Leeuwenhoek},
Genetically-based social behaviors are subject to evolutionary change in response to natural selection. Numerous microbial systems provide not only the opportunity to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying specific social interactions, but also to observe evolutionary changes in sociality over short time periods. Here we summarize experiments in which behaviors of the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus changed extensively during evolutionary adaptation to two relatively asocial… 

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Improved performance in the liquid selective regime among evolved lines was usually associated with significant reductions in all of the major social behaviors of M. xanthus, which is apparently detrimental to fitness under asocial growth conditions.

Rescue of Social Motility Lost during Evolution of Myxococcus xanthus in an Asocial Environment

Replicate populations of the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus underwent extensive evolutionary adaptation to an asocial selective environment (liquid batch culture) and restoration of S motility in the evolved lines by genetic complementation with wild-type pil genes positively affected their fruiting body development and sporulation while negatively affecting their competitive fitness in the asocial regime.

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