Whence Comes Social Diversity? Ecological and Evolutionary Analysis of the Myxobacteria
Gregory J. Velicer, Helena Mendes-Soares and Sébastien Wielgoss
from: Myxobacteria: Genomics, Cellular and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Zhaomin Yang and Penelope I. Higgs). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)
Recent discoveries have found the myxobacteria to be much more diverse - both across and within species - than previously known, from global to micrometer spatial scales. Evolutionary analysis of such extant diversity promises to reveal much about how myxobacteria have adapted to natural ecological habitats in the past and continue to evolve in the present, particularly with regard to their intriguing social phenotypes. Experimental populations propagated under defined laboratory conditions undergo very rapid evolution at cooperative traits in a manner that radically changes their social composition. Analysis of such experimentally evolved populations allows detailed characterization of social evolutionary dynamics in real time. Moreover, traditional genetic tools and new genome sequencing technologies together allow deep investigation of the molecular basis of adaptation by experimental populations to known ecological habitats, which in turn can lead to new discoveries regarding the molecular mechanisms governing social behavior read more ...