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Data from: The incidental response to uniform natural selection

Cite this dataset

Bell, Graham (2013). Data from: The incidental response to uniform natural selection [Dataset]. Dryad.


When populations are exposed to novel conditions of growth they often become adapted to a similar extent, and at the same time evolve some degree of impairment in their original environment. They may also come to vary widely with respect to characters which are uncorrelated with fitness, as the result of chance genetic associations among the founders, when these are a small sample from a large and variable ancestral population. I report an experiment in which 240 replicate lines of the unicellular chlorophyte Chlamydomonas were derived from primarily photoautotrophic ancestors and cultured as heterotrophs in the dark. All adapted to the dark and were impaired in the light after several hundred generations of culture. They also displayed a wide range of colony morphologies that were uncorrelated with fitness. This incidental response to selection probably arose through random variation in the initial composition of the lines. The differences between closely related species or varieties may likewise arise, in similar circumstances, by sampling error rather than natural selection.

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