Research report 2005 - Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
Using cooperative bacteria to understand the evolution of social systems
Gruppe Velicer - Sozialverhalten von Myxococcus xanthus (Dr. Gregory Velicer)
MPI für Entwicklungsbiologie, Tübingen
SummaryThe long-term goal of our research is to understand how social systems adapt to variable environments. Thorough understanding of the adaptive process, however, requires detailed knowledge of the mutational basis of adaptations, the fitness and phenotypic effects of those adaptations, and the selective environments in which they conferred fitness advantages. Towards this end, we employ both laboratory-based evolutionary studies of the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus, as well as studies of fine-scale phenotypic and genomic variation among natural isolates. Here we highlight some of our ongoing studies of laboratory-evolved genotypes.