Rxivist logo

Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 57,910 bioRxiv papers from 266,458 authors.

Global Epistasis Makes Adaptation Predictable Despite Sequence-Level Stochasticity

By Sergey Kryazhimskiy, Daniel Paul Rice, Elizabeth Jerison, Michael M Desai

Posted 13 Jan 2014
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/001784 (published DOI: 10.1126/science.1250939)

Epistasis can make adaptation highly unpredictable, rendering evolutionary trajectories contingent on the chance effects of initial mutations. We used experimental evolution in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to quantify this effect, finding dramatic differences in adaptability between 64 closely related genotypes. Despite these differences, sequencing of 105 evolved clones showed no significant effect of initial genotype on future sequence-level evolution. Instead, reconstruction experiments revealed a consistent pattern of diminishing returns epistasis. Our results suggest that many beneficial mutations affecting a variety of biological processes are globally coupled: they interact strongly, but only through their combined effect on fitness. Sequence-level adaptation is thus highly stochastic. Nevertheless, fitness evolution is strikingly predictable because differences in adaptability are determined only by global fitness-mediated epistasis, not by the identity of individual mutations.

Download data

  • Downloaded 2,163 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 1,791 out of 57,910
    • In evolutionary biology: 80 out of 3,969
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 56,588 out of 57,910
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 55,892 out of 57,910

Altmetric data


Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide


Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)


News