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Distributions of epistasis in microbes fit predictions from a fitness landscape model

AuthorsMartin, Guillaume; Elena, Santiago F. ; Lenormand, Thomas
Epistatic interactions
Multilocus genetics
Gene interactions
Evolutionary predictions
Simple fitness landscape model
Escherichia coli
Empirical data
Issue Date18-Mar-2007
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationNature Genetics 39: 555-560 (2007)
AbstractHow do the fitness effects of several mutations combine? Despite its simplicity, this question is central to the understanding of multilocus evolution. Epistasis (the interaction between alleles at different loci), especially epistasis for fitness traits such as reproduction and survival, influences evolutionary predictions "almost whenever multilocus genetics matters". Yet very few models have sought to predict epistasis, and none has been empirically tested. Here we show that the distribution of epistasis can be predicted from the distribution of single mutation effects, based on a simple fitness landscape model. We show that this prediction closely matches the empirical measures of epistasis that have been obtained for Escherichia coli and the RNA virus vesicular stomatitis virus. Our results suggest that a simple fitness landscape model may be sufficient to quantitatively capture the complex nature of gene interactions. This model may offer a simple and widely applicable alternative to complex metabolic network models, in particular for making evolutionary predictions.
Description6 pages, 4 figures.-- Supplementary information (Figures S1-S3, Table S1, Suppl. methods and Suppl. note) available at: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v39/n4/suppinfo/ng1998_S1.html
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng1998
Appears in Collections:(IBMCP) Artículos
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