Chapter 16 : An Accidental Evolutionary Biologist

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In Darwinian terms, mutations can be either beneficial, neutral, or deleterious. To date author have seen growth advantage in stationary phase (GASP) mutants consume amino acids and proteins better than their unevolved siblings. The research now focuses on understanding the mechanisms that lead to the generation of this genetic diversity and the myriad ways cells can increase their relative fitness. According to author the GASP phenomenon allows us to do something almost as good: one can set up many, many tape players running in parallel and can create true microcosms, tiny universes, where in the beginning all conditions are identical. Experiments like these allow us to explore the mechanisms that lead to the generation of genetic diversity, the raw material of natural selection, and how evolutionary processes, as envisioned by Darwin, continue to shape the biosphere.

Citation: Finkel S. 2012. An Accidental Evolutionary Biologist, p 115-121. In Kolter R, Maloy S (ed), Microbes and Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818470.ch16
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