Evolving E. coli

25-year experiment sees real-time natural selection

By Tina Hesman Saey, 16:00 PM December 13, 2012

2012 SCIENCE NEWS TOP 25: 23 

A simple flask of bacteria has given scientists a glimpse of evolution in action.

Escherichia coli bacteria that were part of a 25-year evolution experiment acquired a new ability at some point during the study. They can now eat a chemical called citrate in the presence of oxygen. E. coli lost that trait more than 13 million years ago, so when bacteria in one flask — designated Ara-3 (shown) — started gorging on the chemical, scientists were fascinated. Beca...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/evolving-e-coli