Biological evolution of a population is governed by the fitness landscape, which is a map from genotype to fitness. However, a fitness landscape depends on the organism's environment, and evolution in changing environments is still poorly understood. We study a particular model of antibiotic resistance evolution in bacteria where the antibiotic concentration is an environmental parameter and the fitness landscapes incorporate tradeoffs between adaptation to low and high antibiotic concentration. With evolutionary dynamics that follow fitness gradients, the evolution of the system under slowly changing antibiotic concentration resembles the athermal dynamics of disordered physical systems under quasistatic external drives. Specifically, our model can be described as a system with interacting hysteretic elements, and it exhibits effects such as hysteresis loops and memory formation under antibiotic concentration cycling. Using methods familiar from studies in this field, we derive a number of analytical and numerical results. Our approach provides a general framework for studying motifs of evolutionary dynamics in biological systems in a changing environment.
- Pub Date:
- August 2021
- Quantitative Biology - Populations and Evolution;
- Condensed Matter - Disordered Systems and Neural Networks;
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter
- 14 pages, 7 figures, supplement included