|Title||Restricted pleiotropy facilitates mutational erosion of major life-history traits.|
|Authors||Agnieszka Marek, Ryszard Korona|
|Abstract||Radical shifts to new natural and human made niches can make some functions unneeded and thus exposed to genetic degeneration. Here we ask not about highly specialized and rarely used functions but those relating to major life-history traits, rate of growth, and resistance to prolonged starvation. We found that in yeast each of the two traits was visibly impaired by at least several hundred individual gene deletions. There were relatively few deletions affecting negatively both traits and likely none harming one but improving the other. Functional profiles of gene deletions affecting either growth or survival were strikingly different: the first related chiefly to synthesis of macromolecules whereas the second to maintenance and recycling of cellular structures. The observed pattern of gene indispensability corresponds to that of gene induction, providing a rather rare example of agreement between the results of deletion and expression studies. We conclude that transitions to new environments in which the ability to grow at possibly fastest rate or survive under very long starvation become practically unnecessary can result in rapid erosion of these vital functions because they are coded by many genes constituting large mutational targets and because restricted pleiotropy is unlikely to constrain this process.|
|Citation||Evolution 2013; 67:3077-86|
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