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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2013 Apr;16(2):207-12. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Jan 26.

Exploiting social evolution in biofilms.

Author information

1
Program in Computational Biology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, United States.

Abstract

Bacteria are highly social organisms that communicate via signaling molecules, move collectively over surfaces and make biofilm communities. Nonetheless, our main line of defense against pathogenic bacteria consists of antibiotics-drugs that target individual-level traits of bacterial cells and thus, regrettably, select for resistance against their own action. A possible solution lies in targeting the mechanisms by which bacteria interact with each other within biofilms. The emerging field of microbial social evolution combines molecular microbiology with evolutionary theory to dissect the molecular mechanisms and the evolutionary pressures underpinning bacterial sociality. This exciting new research can ultimately lead to new therapies against biofilm infections that exploit evolutionary cheating or the trade-off between biofilm formation and dispersal.

PMID:
23357558
PMCID:
PMC3646963
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2013.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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