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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Aug;4(8):577-87.

Microbial cell individuality and the underlying sources of heterogeneity.

Author information

1
School of Biology, Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. Simon.Avery@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

Single cells in genetically homogeneous microbial cultures exhibit marked phenotypic individuality, a biological phenomenon that is considered to bolster the fitness of populations. Major phenotypes that are characterized by heterogeneity span the breadth of microbiology, in fields ranging from pathogenicity to ecology. The cell cycle, cell ageing and epigenetic regulation are proven drivers of heterogeneity in several of the best-known phenotypic examples. However, the full contribution of factors such as stochastic gene expression is yet to be realized.

PMID:
16845428
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro1460
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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