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Environmental stress and the effects of mutation

Santiago F Elena1* and J Arjan GM de Visser2

Author Affiliations

1 Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (CSIC), Campus UPV, Avenida de los naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain

2 Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, The Netherlands

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Journal of Biology 2003, 2:12  doi:10.1186/1475-4924-2-12

Published: 26 June 2003

Abstract

Mutations are the ultimate fuel for evolution, but most mutations have a negative effect on fitness. It has been widely accepted that these deleterious fitness effects are, on average, magnified in stressful environments. Recent results suggest that the effects of deleterious mutations can, instead, sometimes be ameliorated in stressful environments.