Prokaryotic life finds a way: insights from evolutionary experimentation in bacteria

Connolly, J. P.R., Roe, A. J. and O'Boyle, N. (2021) Prokaryotic life finds a way: insights from evolutionary experimentation in bacteria. Critical Reviews in Microbiology, 47(1), pp. 126-140. (doi: 10.1080/1040841X.2020.1854172) (PMID:33332206)

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While evolution proceeds through the generation of random variant alleles, the application of selective pressures can select for subsets of mutations that confer fitness-improving physiological benefits. This, in essence, defines the process of adaptive evolution. The rapid replication rate of bacteria has allowed for the design of experiments to study these processes over a reasonable timeframe within a laboratory setting. This has been greatly assisted by advances in tractability of diverse microorganisms, next generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatic analysis pipelines. Examining the processes by which organisms adapt their genetic code to cope with sub-optimal growth conditions has yielded a wealth of molecular insight into diverse biological processes. Here we discuss how the study of adaptive evolutionary trajectories in bacteria has allowed for improved understanding of stress responses, revealed important insight into microbial physiology, allowed for the production of highly optimised strains for use in biotechnology and increased our knowledge of the role of genomic plasticity in chronic infections.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Nicky O’Boyle is supported by a Tenovus Scotland Small Pilot Grant and BBSRC funding [BB/R006539/1] awarded to Andrew J. Roe. James P.R. Connolly is supported by (a Springboard award from the Academy of Medical Sciences [SBF005\1029].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Connolly, Dr James and Roe, Professor Andrew and O Boyle, Dr Nicky
Authors: Connolly, J. P.R., Roe, A. J., and O'Boyle, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Journal Name:Critical Reviews in Microbiology
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1549-7828
Published Online:17 December 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Critical Reviews in Microbiology 47(1):126-140
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
300280The Role of Dietary D-serine in Health and DiseaseAndrew RoeBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/R006539/1III - Bacteriology