Phenotypic switching and biological evolution of microbes

Finally! After all these years (sorry Andrew, bad joke) we have finally posted our paper on phenotypic switching and biological evolution of bacteria on arxiv and biorxiv, see here. In short, the paper proposes a mathematical model which shows how switching between phenotypes speeds up biological evolution. Previously, phenotypic switching has been hypothesised to have evolved (1) as a “bet-hedging” strategy, (2) as a “division of labour” strategy to conserve resources. Now we have added a 3rd possibility which may play a particularly important role in the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

The credit for this work goes to Andrew Tadrowski – a very organized and meticulous PhD student with great attention to details. Andrew spent a lot of time making sure that all figures look eye-catching (as much as they can for a mathematical model). One of them – a schematic representation of the model – is displayed below.



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