A1 Journal article (refereed)
Silent Rain : Does the atmosphere-mediated connectivity between microbiomes influence bacterial evolutionary rates? (2020)

Jalasvuori, M. (2020). Silent Rain : Does the atmosphere-mediated connectivity between microbiomes influence bacterial evolutionary rates?. Fems Microbiology Ecology, 96(7), Article fiaa096. https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiaa096

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Jalasvuori, Matti

Journal or series: Fems Microbiology Ecology

ISSN: 0168-6496

eISSN: 1574-6941

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 96

Issue number: 7

Article number: fiaa096

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiaa096

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/69237


Air carries a vast number of bacteria and viruses over great distances all the time. This leads into the continuous introduction of foreign genetic material to local established microbial communities. In this perspective, I ask whether this silent rain may have a slowing effect on the overall evolutionary rates in the microbial biosphere. Arguably, the greater the genetic divergence between gene ‘donors’ and ‘recipients’, the greater the chance that the gene product has a deleterious epistatic interaction with other gene products in its genetic environment. This is due to the long-term absence of check for mutual compatibility. As such, if an organism is extensively different from other bacteria, genetic innovations are less probable to fit to the genome. Here genetic innovation would be anything that elevates the fitness of the gene vehicle (e.g. bacterium) over its contemporaries. Adopted innovations increase the fitness of the compatible genome over incompatible ones, thus, possibly tempering the pace at which mutations accumulate in existing genomes over generations. I further discuss the transfer of bacteriophages through atmosphere and potential effects that this may have on local dynamics and perhaps phage survival.

Keywords: microbiome; evolution; bacteria; viruses; bacteriophages; spreading (process); atmosphere (earth)

Free keywords: bacterial evolution; bacteriophages; atmosphere; evolutionary rate; genetic compatibility; genetic innovations

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:10