This work has been supported by the European Research Council (FP7/2007-2013/243285), the Human Frontiers Science Program (RGP0045/2010), and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-14-ACHN-0032-01) to H.T.; the National Science Foundation (MCB-1330427) to S.E.; the National Institutes of Health (R01GM102511 and R01AG049396) to P.C.P.; and the National Institutes of Health (R01GM107227) to C.F.B.
The hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been one of the primary model systems in biology since the 1970s, but only within the last two decades has this nematode also become a useful model for experimental evolution. Here, we outline the goals and major foci of experimental evolution with C. elegans and related species, such as C. briggsae and C. remanei, by discussing the principles of experimental design, and highlighting the strengths and limitations of Caenorhabditis as model systems. We then review three exemplars of Caenorhabditis experimental evolution studies, underlining representative evolution experiments that have addressed the: (1) maintenance of genetic variation; (2) role of natural selection during transitions from outcrossing to selfing, as well as the maintenance of mixed breeding modes during evolution; and (3) evolution of phenotypic plasticity and its role in adaptation to variable environments, including host–pathogen coevolution. We conclude by suggesting some future directions for which experimental evolution with Caenorhabditis would be particularly informative.
Teotónio H, Estes S, Phillips P, Baer C. Experimental Evolution with Caenorhabditis Nematodes. Genetics [serial online]. June 2017;206(2):691-716.