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:11/30/2016)... 2016  higi SH llc (higi) announced today ... national brands, industry thought-leaders and celebrity influencers looking ... for taking steps to live healthier, more active ... higi has built the largest self-screening health station ... people who have conducted over 185 million biometric ...
(Date:11/24/2016)... , Nov. 23, 2016 Cercacor today introduced ... and their trainers non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen ... Rate, and Respiration Rate in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller ... easy and immediate access to key data about their ... a training regimen. Hemoglobin carries oxygen ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership types; ... Academics) market is to witness a value of US$37.1 billion ... Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen from ... 2014-2020. North America is not way ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... 2016 China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE: ... leading provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic ... the results of its 2016 Annual General Meeting, which was ... China . At the Annual ... of KPMG Huazhen LLP as the independent auditors of the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u, San Diego’s premier team building ... team building events, new program offerings and company expansion. , This is ... to include groups of over 30 people. Ever since, Lajollacooks4u has seen significant demand ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Renova™ Therapeutics, ... congestive heart failure and type 2 diabetes, announced ... a novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector developed in ... M.D., Ph.D., at Stanford University. The company plans ... paracrine gene therapy product pipeline. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... OXFORD, England , December 8, 2016 ... Company, has expanded its customisable SureSeq™ NGS panel range with ... - allowing fast and cost-effective study of variants in familial ... copy number variation (CNV) detection on a single small panel ... and hotspot content. This includes all exons for LDLR ...
Breaking Biology Technology: