Stress induced mutagenesis: Stress diversity facilitates the persistence of mutator genes Journal Article

Author(s): Lukačišinová, Marta; Novak, Sebastian; Paixão, Tiago
Article Title: Stress induced mutagenesis: Stress diversity facilitates the persistence of mutator genes
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Mutator strains are expected to evolve when the availability and effect of beneficial mutations are high enough to counteract the disadvantage from deleterious mutations that will inevitably accumulate. As the population becomes more adapted to its environment, both availability and effect of beneficial mutations necessarily decrease and mutation rates are predicted to decrease. It has been shown that certain molecular mechanisms can lead to increased mutation rates when the organism finds itself in a stressful environment. While this may be a correlated response to other functions, it could also be an adaptive mechanism, raising mutation rates only when it is most advantageous. Here, we use a mathematical model to investigate the plausibility of the adaptive hypothesis. We show that such a mechanism can be mantained if the population is subjected to diverse stresses. By simulating various antibiotic treatment schemes, we find that combination treatments can reduce the effectiveness of second-order selection on stress-induced mutagenesis. We discuss the implications of our results to strategies of antibiotic therapy.
Journal Title: PLoS Computational Biology
Volume: 13
Issue 7
ISSN: 1553-7358
Publisher: Public Library of Science  
Date Published: 2017-07-18
Start Page: Article number: e1005609
Copyright Statement: CC BY
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005609
Notes: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under Grant Agreement 618091 Speed of Adaptation in Population Genetics and Evolutionary Computation (SAGE). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. he authors would like to thank Nick Barton, Tobias Bollenbach, Magdalena Steinrück, and Georg Rieckh for helpful feedback and discussions.
Open access: yes (OA journal)