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 journalArticlepeer-review

132 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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