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The evolutionary scoreboard is subject to an intricate dance between evolutionary selectivity and random mutational events. The relative strengths between random and competitive adaptation remains the subject of debate. Here, researchers trace out the evolutionary pathways in genotype-space of populations of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger. Observed evolutionary endpoints are marked by cicles and are connected to images of mutant colonies in varying degrees of adaptation, marked by their different sizes. The background shows the competing colonies of mutants.
Journalists wishing to reproduce this image for news stories about related research should include the following image credit: Ivan G. Szendro, University of Cologne, and J. Arjan G.M. de Visser, Wageningen University.