Navigation Links
Social parasites of the smaller kind
Date:8/24/2007

Cooperation is widespread in the natural world but so too are cheats mutants that do not contribute to the collective good but simply reap the benefits of others cooperative efforts. In evolutionary terms, cheats should indeed prosper, so how cooperation persists despite the threat of cheat takeover is a fundamental question. Recently, biologists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford have found that in bacteria, cheats actually orchestrate their own downfall.

In the study, reported in the September issue of The American Naturalist, the team explored the impact of cheats in populations of the notorious pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These bacteria cooperate to scavenge iron from their environment, but mutant cheats do not contribute their fair share of scavenger molecules and instead simply steal the iron supplies of others.

Cheats are kept in check by simple frequency dependence, says Adin Ross-Gillespie, lead author of the study. When rare, cheats prosper at the expense of cooperators, but as they become more common, the profitability of their strategy declines. At equilibrium, neither strategy has the upper hand, so the two coexist.

But, the authors note, this pattern arises only under certain conditions. In this case, it arose because population productivity, too, was sensitive to the frequency of cheats. Cultures with few cheats grew rapidly and achieved larger absolute sizes in the time available, providing greater opportunity for cheats to exploit the situation. Meanwhile, cultures comprising high proportions of cheats grew poorly. Too many cheats spoil the broth, quips Ross-Gillespie.

Microbes cooperate extensively, and their social activities often have profound medical or economic importance. Studies such as this help us to better understand how cooperative traits evolve and persist. Who knows" Perhaps some day we will harness the power of cheats to direct the dynamics of bacterial populations.


'/>"/>

Contact: Suzanne Wu
swu@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Elephants imitate sounds as a form of social communication
2. Biologists determine genetic blueprint of social amoeba
3. Gorilla susceptibility to Ebola virus: the cost of sociality
4. Shifty-eyed Monkeys Offer Window Into Brains Social Reflexes
5. Rodent social behavior encoded in junk DNA
6. Discovery that bacterium is phosphate gourmet key clue to what makes it most social of bacteria
7. Sudden change in social status triggers genetic response in male fish, study finds
8. Ancient DNA provides clues to the evolution of social behavior
9. Mice lacking social memory molecule take bullying in stride
10. Sociality of sweat bees evolved simultaneously during climate change
11. ASU researchers find link between social behavior, maternal traits in bees
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/11/2017)... , Jan. 11, 2017  Michael Johnson, co-founder of Visikol Inc. ... Group, Inc., has been named to the elite "Forbes 30 Under ... one of 600 people in 20 fields nationwide to be recognized ... the 15,000 applicants were selected. ... He is currently a PhD candidate at Rutgers University. ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... 2017  Delta ID Inc., a leader in consumer-grade ... automotive at CES® 2017. Delta ID has collaborated with ... the use of iris scanning as a secure, reliable ... in a car, and as a way to elevate ... Delta ID and Gentex will demonstrate (booth #7326 ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... 2017 Onitor, provider of digital health technology ... an innovative biometric data-driven program designed to aid weight ... the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in ... U.S., the World Health Organization (WHO), have identified lifestyle ... who are overweight or obese. WHO also states that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 The global biotechnology services outsourcing ... by 2025, according to a new report by ... adaptive of the function of outsourcing certain clinical ... the services outsourced, clinical trial management and contract ... Johnson was the first pharmaceutical company to outsource ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... India , January 18, 2017 According to a ... (Cancer Diagnosis, Neuroscience, Cytology, Infectious Disease), & End User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic ... is expected to reach USD 739.9 Million by 2021 from USD 557.1 Million ... Continue Reading ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... Leven successfully implanted SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT™ Solofuse-P™. The operation took place on Wednesday, January ... NY. The procedure was an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on a 42 ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... DrugDev customers are ... Ops Executives (Hyatt Regency Miami, January 24-26). DrugDev will join customers including Pfizer, ... such as trial performance metrics, patient enrollment diversity, protocol optimization, and global site ...
Breaking Biology Technology: