Exploring the physical geography of an empirical fitness landscape

Exploring the physical geography of an empirical fitness landscape

  • Date: Jul 1, 2020
  • Time: 15:00 - 16:00
  • Speaker: Dr. Djordje Bajić, Yale University, New Haven, USA
  • please see https://eeb.yale.edu/people/postdoctoral-and-research-appointments/djordje-bajic
  • Location: virtual platform
  • Host: Paul Rainey/ Loukas Theodosiou
Exploring the physical geography of an empirical fitness landscape

The mapping of genotypes to fitness, known as a “fitness landscape”, constrains adaptive evolution and determines to a large extent its pace and outcomes. The topography of fitness landscapes fundamentally depends on genetic constraints, such as epistasis, and on the environment. Due to their vast extension, most of the work characterizing the topography of fitness landscapes have used either theoretical models or small empirical examples, involving just a few genotypes. The topographical properties of large-scale empirical fitness landscapes - their “physical geography” - remains however largely unknown. Flux-balance analysis (FBA) represents an empirically validated method that predicts growth phenotypes from realistic metabolic networks, which include reactions and pathways from real organisms. I will first show how we combined FBA to study the generic topographical properties of bacterial metabolic fitness landscapes when the environment is kept constant. I will then move on to show how niche construction, by modifying the abiotic environment, can deform a fitness landscape, with profound consequences to long-term evolution. For link and password, please contact Britta Baron (baron@evolbio.mpg.de).

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