1887

Abstract

To follow and model evolution of a microbial population in the chemostat, parameters are needed that give an indication of the absolute extent of evolution at a high resolution of time. In this study the evolution of the maximum specific growth rate (μ) and the residual glucose concentration was followed for populations of K-12 under glucose-limited conditions at dilution rates of 01 h, 03 h and 053 h during 500–700 h in continuous culture. Whereas μ improved only during the initial 150 h, the residual glucose concentration decreased constantly during 500 h of cultivation and therefore served as a convenient parameter to monitor the evolution of a population at a high time resolution with respect to its affinity for the growth-limiting substrate. The evolution of residual glucose concentrations was reproducible in independent chemostats with a population size of 10 cells, whereas no reproducibility was found in chemostats containing 10 cells. A model based on Monod kinetics assuming successive take-overs of mutants with improved kinetic parameters (primarily ) was able to simulate the experimentally observed evolution of residual glucose concentrations. Similar values for the increase in glucose affinity of mutant phenotypes ( 0 ) and similar mutation rates per cell per generation leading to these mutant phenotypes (1–5×10) were estimated for all dilution rates. The model predicts a maximum rate of evolution at a dilution rate slightly below μ/2. With increasing and decreasing dilution rates the evolution slows down, which also explains why in special cases a selection-driven evolution can exhibit apparent clock-like behaviour. The glucose affinity for WT cells was dependent on the dilution rate with highest values at dilution rates around μ/2. Below 03 h poorer affinity was mainly due to the effects of .

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2002-09-01
2020-09-30
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