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Population size changes and selection drive patterns of parallel evolution in a host–virus system

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Frickel Jens, Feulner Philine G. D., Karakoc Emre, Becks Lutz,
Project Host virus coevolution - demography versus selection
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Nature Communications
Volume (Issue) 9(1)
Page(s) 1706 - 1706
Title of proceedings Nature Communications
DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-03990-7

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Predicting the repeatability of evolution remains elusive. Theory and empirical studies suggest that strong selection and large population sizes increase the probability for parallel evolution at the phenotypic and genotypic levels. However, selection and population sizes are not constant, but rather change continuously and directly affect each other even on short time scales. Here, we examine the degree of parallel evolution shaped through eco-evolutionary dynamics in an algal host population coevolving with a virus. We find high degrees of parallelism at the level of population size changes (ecology) and at the phenotypic level between replicated populations. At the genomic level, we find evidence for parallelism, as the same large genomic region was duplicated in all replicated populations, but also substantial novel sequence divergence between replicates. These patterns of genome evolution can be explained by considering population size changes as an important driver of rapid evolution.