Friday, 11 April, 2014
Range Expansion of Heterogeneous Populations
M. Reiter, S. Rulands, and E. Frey -
Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 112, 148103 (2014)
Risk spreading in bacterial populations is generally regarded as a strategy to maximize survival. Here, we study its role during range expansion of a genetically diverse population where growth and motility are two alternative traits. We find that during the initial expansion phase fast-growing cells do have a selective advantage. By contrast, asymptotically, generalists balancing motility and reproduction are evolutionarily most successful. These findings are rationalized by a set of coupled Fisher equations complemented by stochastic simulations.