Adaptive prediction is a capability of diverse organisms, including microbes, to sense a cue and prepare in advance to deal with a future environmental challenge. Here, we investigated the timeframe over which adaptive prediction emerges when an organism encounters an environment with novel structure. We subjected yeast to laboratory evolution in a novel environment with repetitive, coupled exposures to a neutral chemical cue (caffeine), followed by a sublethal dose of a toxin (5-FOA), with an interspersed requirement for uracil prototrophy to counter-select mutants that gained constitutive 5-FOA resistance. We demonstrate the remarkable ability of yeast to internalize a novel environmental pattern within 50-150 generations by adaptively predicting 5-FOA stress upon sensing caffeine. We also demonstrate how novel environmental structure can be internalized by coupling two unrelated response networks, such as the response to caffeine and signaling-mediated conditional peroxisomal localization of proteins.
Keywords: adaptive prediction; conditioned fitness; peroxisomal translocation; structured environments; variant analysis.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.