Induced mutations in yeast cell populations adapting to an unforeseen challenge

Lindsay S. Moore*, Wu Wei, Elad Stolovicki, Tamar Benbenishty, Stefan Wilkening, Lars M. Steinmetz, Erez Braun, Lior David

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The modern evolutionary synthesis assumes that mutations occur at random, independently of the environment in which they confer an advantage. However, there are indications that cells facing challenging conditions can adapt rapidly, utilizing processes beyond selection of pre-existing genetic variation. Here, we show that a strong regulatory challenge can induce mutations in many independent yeast cells, in the absence of general mutagenesis. Whole genome sequencing of cell lineages reveals a repertoire of independent mutations within a single lineage that arose only after the cells were exposed to the challenging environment, while other cells in the same lineage adapted without any mutation in their genomes. Thus, our experiments uncovered multiple alternative routes for heritable adaptation that were all induced in the same lineage during a short time period. Our results demonstrate the existence of adaptation mechanisms beyond random mutation, suggesting a tight connection between physiological and genetic processes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere11113
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
StatePublished - 23 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Moore et al.


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