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Selection for tryptophan auxotrophs of escherichia coli in glucose limited chemostats as a test of the energy conservation hypothesis of evolution


Evolution 32(1): 125-150
Selection for tryptophan auxotrophs of escherichia coli in glucose limited chemostats as a test of the energy conservation hypothesis of evolution
Evolution to auxotrophy can be explained by an efficiency argument which, formally stated as the energy conservation hypothesis, says that the rate of selection is determined by the amount of energy saved by eliminating unneeded processes. This hypothesis was tested using tryptophan mutants of E. coli competing against isogenic wild-type E. coli in a glucose-limited chemostat with excess tryptophan. The selection for the mutant was 3 orders of magnitude larger than the theoretical percentage of the energy budget which could be saved. No demographic differences could be found to explain this large selection. Predicted relative differences in selection rates between mutants in the same environment or the same mutant in different environments were not found. Therefore, the selection for tryptophan auxotrophs was apparently not caused by differences in energy efficiency between the auxotroph and wild-type. That selection for energy efficiency is less important in evolution than traditionally assumed is implied.

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Accession: 006380699



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