Experimental microbial evolution: history and conceptual underpinnings. Academic Article Article Review uri icon

start page

  • 393

end page

  • 398


  • We chronicle and dissect the history of the field of Experimental Microbial Evolution, beginning with work by Monod. Early research was largely carried out by microbiologists and biochemists, who used experimental evolutionary change as a tool to understand structure-function relationships. These studies attracted the interest of evolutionary biologists who recognized the power of the approach to address issues such as the tempo of adaptive change, the costs and benefits of sex, parallelism, and the role which contingency plays in the evolutionary process. In the 1980s and 1990s, an ever-expanding body of microbial, physiological and biochemical data, together with new technologies for manipulating microbial genomes, allowed such questions to be addressed in ever-increasing detail. Since then, technological advances leading to low-cost, high-throughput DNA sequencing have made it possible for these and other fundamental questions in evolutionary biology to be addressed at the molecular level.Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

date/time value

  • December 2014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ygeno.2014.10.004

PubMed Identifier

  • 25315137


  • 104


  • 6 Pt A


  • Databases, Genetic
  • Directed Molecular Evolution
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Microbial
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century