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Weak Epistasis May Drive Adaptation in Recombining Bacteria.

Abstract

), selection on weak interactions between distant mutations is nearly as efficient as for an asexual species, likely because homologous recombination typically transfers only short segments. However, for strong epistasis, bacterial recombination accelerates selection, with the dynamics dependent on the amount of recombination and the number of loci. Epistasis may thus play an important role in both the short- and long-term adaptive evolution of bacteria, and, unlike in eukaryotes, is not limited to strong effect sizes, closely linked loci, or other conditions that limit the impact of recombination.

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