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Data from: Host coevolution alters the adaptive landscape of a virus

Cite this dataset

Burmeister, Alita R.; Lenski, Richard E.; Meyer, Justin R. (2016). Data from: Host coevolution alters the adaptive landscape of a virus [Dataset]. Dryad.


The origin of new and complex structures and functions is fundamental for shaping the diversity of life. Such key innovations are rare because they require multiple interacting changes. We sought to understand how the adaptive landscape led to an innovation whereby bacteriophage λ evolved the new ability to exploit a receptor, OmpF, on Escherichia coli cells. Previous work showed that this ability evolved repeatedly, despite requiring four mutations in one virus gene. Here, we examine how this innovation evolved by studying six intermediate genotypes of λ isolated during independent transitions to exploit OmpF and comparing them to their ancestor. All six intermediates showed large increases in their adsorption rates on the ancestral host. Improvements in adsorption were offset, in large part, by the evolution of host resistance, which occurred by reduced expression of LamB, the usual receptor for λ. As a consequence of host coevolution, the adaptive landscape of the virus changed such that selection favouring four of the six virus intermediates became stronger after the host evolved resistance, thereby accelerating virus populations along the path to using the new OmpF receptor. This dependency of viral fitness on host genotype thus shows an important role for coevolution in the origin of the new viral function.

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