Spatiotemporal Microbial Evolution on Antibiotic Landscapes

Condensed Matter journal club

Spatiotemporal Microbial Evolution on Antibiotic Landscapes

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 14th October 2016
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Abstract

A key aspect of bacterial survival is the ability to evolve while migrating across spatially varying environmental challenges. Laboratory experiments, however, often study evolution in well-mixed systems. Here, we introduce an experimental device, the microbial evolution and growth arena (MEGA)-plate in which bacteria spread and evolved on a large antibiotic landscape (120 x 60 centimeters) that allowed visual observation of mutation and selection in a migrating bacterial front. While resistance increased consistently, multiple coexisting lineages diversified both phenotypically and genotypically. Analyzing mutants at and behind the propagating front, we found that evolution is not always led by the most resistant mutants; highly resistant mutants may be trapped behind more sensitive lineages. The MEGA-plate provides a versatile platform for studying microbial adaption and directly visualizing evolutionary dynamics.
Science 353 pages 1147-1151 (2016)
pdf version

Authors

Michael Baym, Tami D. Lieberman, Eric D. Kelsic, Remy Chait, Rotem Gross, Idan Yelin, Roy Kishony