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Data from: Genetic drift and selection in many-allele range expansions

Cite this dataset

Weinstein, Bryan T. et al. (2018). Data from: Genetic drift and selection in many-allele range expansions [Dataset]. Dryad.


We experimentally and numerically investigate the evolutionary dynamics of four competing strains of E. coli with differing expansion velocities in radially expanding colonies. We compare experimental measurements of the average fraction, correlation functions between strains, and the relative rates of genetic domain wall annihilations and coalescences to simulations modeling the population as a one-dimensional ring of annihilating and coalescing random walkers with deterministic biases due to selection. The simulations reveal that the evolutionary dynamics can be collapsed onto master curves governed by three essential parameters: (1) an expansion length beyond which selection dominates over genetic drift; (2) a characteristic angular correlation describing the size of genetic domains; and (3) a dimensionless constant quantifying the interplay between a colony’s curvature at the frontier and its selection length scale. We measure these parameters with a new technique that precisely measures small selective differences between spatially competing strains and show that our simulations accurately predict the dynamics without additional fitting. Our results suggest that the random walk model can act as a useful predictive tool for describing the evolutionary dynamics of range expansions composed of an arbitrary number of genotypes with different fitnesses.

Usage notes


National Science Foundation, Award: DMR1608501