Data from: The impact of high-order epistasis in the within-host fitness of a positive-sense plant RNA virus
Lalić, Jasna; Elena, Santiago F. (2015), Data from: The impact of high-order epistasis in the within-host fitness of a positive-sense plant RNA virus, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6hq65
RNA viruses are the main source of emerging infectious diseases because of the evolutionary potential bestowed by their fast replication, large population sizes and high mutation and recombination rates. However, an equally important property, which is usually neglected, is the topography of the fitness landscape. How many fitness maxima exist and how well they are connected is especially interesting, as this determines the number of accessible evolutionary pathways. To address this question, we have reconstructed a region of the fitness landscape of tobacco etch potyvirus constituted by mutations observed during the experimental adaptation of the virus to the novel host Arabidopsis thaliana. Fitness was measured for many genotypes, and showed the existence of multiple peaks and holes in the landscape. We found prevailing epistatic effects between mutations, with cases of reciprocal sign epistasis being common among pairs of mutations. We also found that high-order epistasis were as important as pairwise epistasis in their contribution to fitness. Therefore, results suggest that the landscape was rugged due to the existence of holes caused by lethal genotypes, that a very limited number of potential neutral paths exist, and that contained a single adaptive peak.