Modulating Mutation Rates in the Wild

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Science  30 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5624, pp. 1382-1383
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085691

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What happens to wild isolates of Escherichia coli bacteria from all walks of life when you put them in a laboratory and starve them? In their Perspective, Rosenberg and Hastings discuss just such a scenario and explain the increased rate of stress-induced mutagenesis--a strategy that may hasten evolution--in starved, aging bacterial colonies derived from wild isolates ( Bjedov et al.).