Genetic mutation trade-offs lead to parallel evolution

5/23/2017 Siv Schwink

While heritable genetic mutations can alter phenotypic traits and enable populations to adapt to their environment, adaptation is frequently limited by trade-offs: a mutation advantageous to one trait might be detrimental to another. Because of the interplay between the selection pressures present in complex environments and the trade-offs constraining phenotypes, predicting evolutionary dynamics is difficult. Dr. Seppe Kuehn and his research group have shown how evolutionary dynamics proceed when selection acts on two traits governed by a trade-off. The results move the life sciences a step closer to understanding the full complexity of evolution at the cellular level.

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