Towards Prediction and Control of Microbial Evolution: Analysis of Phenotypic Constraints in Laboratory Evolution


Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - 14:40




Chikara Furusawa

Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, RIKEN

Universal Biology Institute, The University of Tokyo


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Biological systems undergo state changes to adapt and evolve in response to changing environmental conditions. However, despite the recognition of the importance of elucidating the adaptive and evolutionary capabilities of organisms, research on the evolvability and plasticity of organisms remains largely qualitative. To better understand how evolutionary processes are constrained in high-dimensional phenotypic and genotypic space, we conducted laboratory evolution experiments under various stress environments (>100) and analyzed phenotypic and genomic sequence changes [1,2]. These comprehensive analyses revealed that changes in gene expression are largely restricted to low-dimensional dynamics, while diverse genomic changes contribute to similar phenotypic changes. To further investigate the nature of evolutionary constraints, we performed computer simulations of adaptive evolution using a simple cellular model. Once again, we observed that changes in cell state during adaptation and evolution are generally limited to low-dimensional dynamics [3]. Based on these findings, we will discuss the nature of phenotypic plasticity and constraints in bacterial evolution, as well as potential strategies for predicting and controlling evolutionary dynamics.



[1] S. Suzuki, T. Horinouchi, and C. Furusawa, Nature Comm., 5:5792 (2014)

[2] T. Maeda et al, Nature Comm., 11:5970 (2020)

[3] C. Furusawa and K. Kaneko, Phys. Rev. E, 97(4):042410 (2018)

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