Rapid evolutionary adaptation to elevated salt concentrations in pathogenic freshwater bacteria Serratia marcescens

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Ketola , T & Hiltunen , T 2014 , ' Rapid evolutionary adaptation to elevated salt concentrations in pathogenic freshwater bacteria Serratia marcescens ' , Ecology and Evolution , vol. 4 , no. 20 , pp. 3901-3908 . https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1253

Title: Rapid evolutionary adaptation to elevated salt concentrations in pathogenic freshwater bacteria Serratia marcescens
Author: Ketola, Tarmo; Hiltunen, Teppo
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Food and Nutrition
Date: 2014-11
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: Ecology and Evolution
ISSN: 2045-7758
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/162269
Abstract: Rapid evolutionary adaptions to new and previously detrimental environmental conditions can increase the risk of invasion by novel pathogens. We tested this hypothesis with a 133-day-long evolutionary experiment studying the evolution of the pathogenic Serratia marcescens bacterium at salinity niche boundary and in fluctuating conditions. We found that S.marcescens evolved at harsh (80g/L) and extreme (100g/L) salt conditions had clearly improved salt tolerance than those evolved in the other three treatments (ancestral conditions, nonsaline conditions, and fluctuating salt conditions). Evolutionary theories suggest that fastest evolutionary changes could be observed in intermediate selection pressures. Therefore, we originally hypothesized that extreme conditions, such as our 100g/L salinity treatment, could lead to slower adaptation due to low population sizes. However, no evolutionary differences were observed between populations evolved in harsh and extreme conditions. This suggests that in the study presented here, low population sizes did not prevent evolution in the long run. On the whole, the adaptive potential observed here could be important for the transition of pathogenic S.marcescens bacteria from human-impacted freshwater environments, such as wastewater treatment plants, to marine habitats, where they are known to infect and kill corals (e.g., through white pox disease).
Subject: Experimental evolution
fluctuating environment
harsh environment
niche expansion
pathogen invasions
tolerance curve
TEMPORALLY VARYING ENVIRONMENT
ESCHERICHIA-COLI
VARIABLE ENVIRONMENTS
PREVENT EXTINCTION
POPULATIONS
SELECTION
TEMPERATURE
GENERALISTS
DROSOPHILA
VIRULENCE
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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