A1 Journal article (refereed)
Adaptation to a limiting element involves mitigation of multiple elemental imbalances (2023)

Jeyasingh, P. D., Sherman, R. E., Prater, C., Pulkkinen, K., & Ketola, T. (2023). Adaptation to a limiting element involves mitigation of multiple elemental imbalances. Journal of the royal society interface, 20(198), Article 20220472. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0472

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Publication details

All authors or editors: Jeyasingh, Punidan D.; Sherman, Ryan E.; Prater, Clay; Pulkkinen, Katja; Ketola, Tarmo

Journal or series: Journal of the royal society interface

ISSN: 1742-5689

eISSN: 1742-5662

Publication year: 2023

Volume: 20

Issue number: 198

Article number: 20220472

Publisher: The Royal Society

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0472

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access: Channel is not openly available


About 20 elements underlie biology and thus constrain biomass production. Recent systems-level observations indicate that altered supply of one element impacts the processing of most elements encompassing an organism (i.e. ionome). Little is known about the evolutionary tendencies of ionomes as populations adapt to distinct biogeochemical environments. We evolved the bacterium Serratia marcescens under five conditions (i.e. low carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron or manganese) that limited the yield of the ancestor compared with replete medium, and measured the concentrations and use efficiency of these five, and five other elements. Both physiological responses of the ancestor, as well as evolutionary responses of descendants to experimental environments involved changes in the content and use efficiencies of the limiting element, and several others. Differences in coefficients of variation in elemental contents based on biological functions were evident, with those involved in biochemical building (C, N, P, S) varying least, followed by biochemical balance (Ca, K, Mg, Na), and biochemical catalysis (Fe, Mn). Finally, descendants evolved to mitigate elemental imbalances evident in the ancestor in response to limiting conditions. Understanding the tendencies of such ionomic responses will be useful to better forecast biological responses to geochemical changes.

Keywords: evolution; biogeochemistry

Free keywords: ecological stoichiometry; experimentalevolution; ionomics; nutrient use efficiency; Serratia

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Last updated on 2023-04-01 at 13:38