October 17 (Tue) at 16:00 - 17:00, 2023 (JST)
  • Anzhelika Koldaeva (Postdoctoral Researcher, Biological Complexity Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST))
  • via Zoom
Kyosuke Adachi

Spatial constraints, such as rigid barriers, affect the dynamics of cell populations, potentially altering the course of natural evolution. In this paper, we investigate the population genetics of Escherichia coli proliferating in microchannels with open ends. Our analysis is based on a population model, in which reproducing cells shift entire lanes of cells toward the open ends of the channel. The model predicts that diversity is lost very rapidly within lanes but at a much slower pace among lanes. As a consequence, two mixed, neutral E. coli strains competing in a microchannel must organize into an ordered regular stripe pattern in the course of a few generations. These predictions are in quantitative agreement with our experiments. We also demonstrate that random mutations appearing in the middle of the channel are much more likely to reach fixation than those occurring elsewhere. Our results illustrate fundamental mechanisms of microbial evolution in spatially confined space.


  1. A. Koldaeva, H.-F. Tsai, A. Q. Shen, and S. Pigolotti, Population genetics in microchannels, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 119, e2120821119 (2022), doi: 10.1073/pnas.2120821119

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