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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 Mar;5(3):219-29.

Cannibalism and fratricide: mechanisms and raisons d'être.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Génétique Moléculaires, UMR 5100 CNRS-Université Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 9, France. claverys@ibcg.biotoul.fr

Abstract

Cannibalism and fratricide refer to the killing of genetically identical cells (siblings) that was recently documented in two Gram-positive species, Bacillus subtilis and Streptococcus pneumoniae, respectively. Cannibalism occurs during the early stages of sporulation in B. subtilis, whereas fratricide occurs in S. pneumoniae during natural genetic transformation. Here, we compare and contrast these two phenomena and discuss whether these processes are fundamentally different from the more traditional 'chemical warfare' among bacteria.

PMID:
17277796
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro1613
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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