Fate of a mutation in a fluctuating environment

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Fate of a mutation in a fluctuating environment

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Title: Fate of a mutation in a fluctuating environment
Author: Cvijovic, Ivana; Good, Benjamin Harmar; Jerison, Elizabeth; Desai, Michael Manish

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Citation: Cvijovic, Ivana, Benjamin H. Good, Elizabeth R. Jerison, and Michael M. Desai. 2015. “Fate of a Mutation in a Fluctuating Environment.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 (36) (August 24): E5021–E5028. doi:10.1073/pnas.1505406112.
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Abstract: Natural environments are never truly constant, but the evolutionary implications of temporally varying selection pressures remain poorly understood. Here we investigate how the fate of a new mutation in a fluctuating environment depends on the dynamics of environmental variation and on the selective pressures in each condition. We find that even when a mutation experiences many environmental epochs before fixing or going extinct, its fate is not necessarily determined by its time-averaged selective effect. Instead, environmental variability reduces the efficiency of selection across a broad parameter regime, rendering selection unable to distinguish between mutations that are substantially beneficial and substantially deleterious on average. Temporal fluctuations can also dramatically increase fixation probabilities, often making the details of these fluctuations more important than the average selection pressures acting on each new mutation. For example, mutations that result in a trade-off between conditions but are strongly deleterious on average can nevertheless be more likely to fix than mutations that are always neutral or beneficial. These effects can have important implications for patterns of molecular evolution in variable environments, and they suggest that it may often be difficult for populations to maintain specialist traits, even when their loss leads to a decline in time-averaged fitness.
Published Version: doi:10.1073/pnas.1505406112
Other Sources: http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2015/03/18/016709
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:30168445
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