Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kamikaze bacteria illustrate evolution of co-operation

Suicidal Salmonella sacrifice themselves to allow their clones to get a foothold in the gut.
Bacteria can commit suicide to help their brethren establish more damaging infections — and scientists think that they can explain how this behaviour evolved.
The phenomenon, called self-destructive cooperation, can help bacteria such as Salmonella typhimurium and Clostridium difficile to establish a stronghold in the gut.
Published online 20 August 2008 Nature doi:10.1038/news.2008.1055

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