Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Strong environmental memory revealed by experimental evolution in static and fluctuating environments. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology Abreu, C. I., Mathur, S., Petrov, D. A. 2023


    Evolution in a static environment, such as a laboratory setting with constant and uniform conditions, often proceeds via large-effect beneficial mutations that may become maladaptive in other environments. Conversely, natural settings require populations to endure environmental fluctuations. A sensible assumption is that the fitness of a lineage in a fluctuating environment is the time-average of its fitness over the sequence of static conditions it encounters. However, transitions between conditions may pose entirely new challenges, which could cause deviations from this time-average. To test this, we tracked hundreds of thousands of barcoded yeast lineages evolving in static and fluctuating conditions and subsequently isolated 900 mutants for pooled fitness assays in 15 environments. We find that fitness in fluctuating environments indeed often deviates from the expectation based on static components, leading to fitness non-additivity. Moreover, closer examination reveals that fitness in one component of a fluctuating environment is often strongly influenced by the previous component. We show that this environmental memory is especially common for mutants with high variance in fitness across tested environments, even if the components of the focal fluctuating environment are excluded from this variance. We employ a simple mathematical model and whole-genome sequencing to propose mechanisms underlying this effect, including lag time evolution and sensing mutations. Our results demonstrate that environmental fluctuations have large impacts on fitness and suggest that variance in static environments can explain these impacts.

    View details for DOI 10.1101/2023.09.14.557739

    View details for PubMedID 37745585

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10515930

  • Warmer temperatures favor slower-growing bacteria in natural marine communities. Science advances Abreu, C. I., Dal Bello, M., Bunse, C., Pinhassi, J., Gore, J. 2023; 9 (19): eade8352


    Earth's life-sustaining oceans harbor diverse bacterial communities that display varying composition across time and space. While particular patterns of variation have been linked to a range of factors, unifying rules are lacking, preventing the prediction of future changes. Here, analyzing the distribution of fast- and slow-growing bacteria in ocean datasets spanning seasons, latitude, and depth, we show that higher seawater temperatures universally favor slower-growing taxa, in agreement with theoretical predictions of how temperature-dependent growth rates differentially modulate the impact of mortality on species abundances. Changes in bacterial community structure promoted by temperature are independent of variations in nutrients along spatial and temporal gradients. Our results help explain why slow growers dominate at the ocean surface, during summer, and near the tropics and provide a framework to understand how bacterial communities will change in a warmer world.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.ade8352

    View details for PubMedID 37163596

  • When two are better than one. Nature ecology & evolution Abreu, C. I., Datta, M. S. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41559-021-01499-9

    View details for PubMedID 34267367