Clonal adaptive radiation in a constant environment

Ram Maharjan, Shona Seeto, Lucinda Notley-McRobb, Thomas Ferenci*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

123 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution of new combinations of bacterial properties contributes to biodiversity and the emergence of new diseases. We investigated the capacity for bacterial divergence with a chemostat culture of Escherichia coli. A clonal population radiated into more than five phenotypic clusters within 26 days, with multiple variations in global regulation, metabolic strategies, surface properties, and nutrient permeability pathways. Most isolates belonged to a single ecotype, and neither periodic selection events nor ecological competition for a single niche prevented an adaptive radiation with a single resource. The multidirectional exploration of fitness space is an underestimated ingredient to bacterial success even in unstructured environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-517
Number of pages4
Issue number5786
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes

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