EXPLORING THE CONTRIBUTION OF NEUTRAL EVOLUTION TO BIOGEOGRAPHY IN GLOBAL SURFACE OCEAN MICROBES USING AGENT-BASED MODELING
A key question in ecology and evolution is the relative role of environmental selection and neutral evolution in shaping biogeography. For microbes in the global surface ocean, molecular observations support a strong role of environmental selection at the species level (95% genome identity), but neutral evolution may contribute to biogeography at a finer taxonomic resolution. We explore this question using a neutral agent-based model that simulates a population of 100k individual bacteria cells that are transported based on a global hydrodynamic model, die and divide, each with a full dynamic genome subject to mutation. The model is run for up to 10k years and output is analyzed using BLAST alignment and metagenomics fragment recruitment. Simulations show the production and maintenance of diversity and biogeography. At 99.9% genome identity, the global ocean contains about seven dynamic provinces, subject to mixing and periodic takeovers by neighbors. Following a takeover event, neutral evolution re-establishes the province. This research represents a significant step towards closing the gap between current observational and modeling tools. Future work may include expanding the model to include environmental selection.
Hellweger, F. L., Northeastern University, USA, email@example.com
Van Sebille, E., University of New South Wales, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fredrick, N. D., Northeastern University, USA, email@example.com
Location: B 115
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