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Division of labor in the test tube
Date:12/2/2013

th when a partner was present that compensated this loss. This can be explained by the considerably reduced energy costs both strains had to invest for producing the exchanged amino acids. Specializing on the production of certain, but not all necessary amino acids made the bacterial cells more efficient and thus resulted in faster growth. Interestingly, the two cooperating, amino acid exchanging strains even outcompeted a self-sustaining wild-type strain.

The research results from Christian Kost's lab illustrate why symbiotic relationships with bacteria are so prevalent. In the course of evolution, an association may get so close that the mutualistic partners merge into a new, multicellular organism.


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Contact: Dr. Christian Kost
ckost@ice.mpg.de
49-364-157-1212
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Source:Eurekalert  

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