Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Annu Rev Microbiol. 2011;65:349-67. doi: 10.1146/annurev.micro.112408.134109.

Kin discrimination and cooperation in microbes.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA. strassm@rice.edu

Abstract

Recognition of relatives is important in microbes because they perform many behaviors that have costs to the actor while benefiting neighbors. Microbes cooperate for nourishment, movement, virulence, iron acquisition, protection, quorum sensing, and production of multicellular biofilms or fruiting bodies. Helping others is evolutionarily favored if it benefits others who share genes for helping, as specified by kin selection theory. If microbes generally find themselves in clonal patches, then no special means of discrimination is necessary. Much real discrimination is actually of kinds, not kin, as in poison-antidote systems, such as bacteriocins, in which cells benefit their own kind by poisoning others, and in adhesion systems, in which cells of the same kind bind together. These behaviors can elevate kinship generally and make cooperation easier to evolve and maintain.

PMID:
21682642
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk