Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2007 Nov 15;450(7168):411-4.

Cooperation and conflict in quorum-sensing bacterial populations.

Author information

1
Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, University Park, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. steve.diggle@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

It has been suggested that bacterial cells communicate by releasing and sensing small diffusible signal molecules in a process commonly known as quorum sensing (QS). It is generally assumed that QS is used to coordinate cooperative behaviours at the population level. However, evolutionary theory predicts that individuals who communicate and cooperate can be exploited. Here we examine the social evolution of QS experimentally in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and show that although QS can provide a benefit at the group level, exploitative individuals can avoid the cost of producing the QS signal or of performing the cooperative behaviour that is coordinated by QS, and can therefore spread. We also show that a solution to the problem of exploitation is kin selection, if interacting bacterial cells tend to be close relatives. These results show that the problem of exploitation, which has been the focus of considerable attention in animal communication, also arises in bacteria.

PMID:
18004383
DOI:
10.1038/nature06279
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center