Xavier JB.. Social interaction in synthetic and natural microbial communities. Mol Syst Biol 7: 483

Program in Computational Biology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, NY 10065, USA.
Molecular Systems Biology (Impact Factor: 10.87). 04/2011; 7(1):483. DOI: 10.1038/msb.2011.16
Source: PubMed


Social interaction among cells is essential for multicellular complexity. But how do molecular networks within individual cells confer the ability to interact? And how do those same networks evolve from the evolutionary conflict between individual- and population-level interests? Recent studies have dissected social interaction at the molecular level by analyzing both synthetic and natural microbial populations. These studies shed new light on the role of population structure for the evolution of cooperative interactions and revealed novel molecular mechanisms that stabilize cooperation among cells. New understanding of populations is changing our view of microbial processes, such as pathogenesis and antibiotic resistance, and suggests new ways to fight infection by exploiting social interaction. The study of social interaction is also challenging established paradigms in cancer evolution and immune system dynamics. Finding similar patterns in such diverse systems suggests that the same 'social interaction motifs' may be general to many cell populations.

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    • "The social niche hypothesis stipulates that, whether through choice or coercion, individuals in a population adopt a social role and, in doing so, influence the behavioral variation present (Bergmüller and Taborsky 2010). The social lives of microbes have been getting much attention lately (Crespi 2001; West et al. 2007; Xavier 2011) and behaviors such as cooperation and cheating are the focus of substantial research efforts. Through manipulating group composition, one can test the social niche hypothesis (e.g., Laskowski and Bell 2014; Laskowski and Pruitt 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Two recent observations in behavioral biology have sparked great interest and have already yielded many novel and intriguing insights. Bacteria appear to live lives of unforeseen behavioral complexity, and the consistent behavioral variation among individual animals is often not "noise" but turns out to be a highly relevant ecological and evolutionary feature in itself. Research covering these 2 phenomena has proceeded largely in isolation, and the rich behavioral lives of bacteria have not yet been studied with consistent interindividual behavioral differences in mind. Yet, the parallels between animal and bacterial behavior that are increasingly being uncovered, as well as the particular characteristics of bacteria, point toward a new approach in the study of consistent individual variation in behavior. Using bacteria can bring fruitful opportunities to the field and allows researchers to address questions that are very difficult to pursue using animal model systems. Notwithstanding a few challenges, bacteria can provide an alternative study system that may elucidate several evolutionary and ecological aspects of consistent individual behavioral variation. © 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected] /* */
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Behavioral Ecology
    • "Bacterial signaling and especially quorum sensing (QS) is a possible target for such treatments that will control and reduce bacterial virulence [4], [5]. QS is a signaling mechanism that bacteria use to communicate during the infection process [6], [7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Quorum sensing (QS) is a signaling mechanism that pathogenic bacteria use to communicate and synchronize the production of exofactors to attack their hosts. Understanding and controlling QS is an important step towards a possible solution to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. QS is a cooperative effort of a bacterial population in which some of the bacteria do not participate. This phenomenon is usually studied using game theory and the non-participating bacteria are modeled as cheaters that exploit the production of common goods (exofactors) by other bacteria. Here, we take a different approach to study the QS dynamics of a growing bacterial population. We model the bacterial population as a growing graph and use spectral graph theory to compute the evolution of its synchronizability. We also treat each bacterium as a source of signaling molecules and use the diffusion equation to compute the signaling molecule distribution. We formulate a cost function based on Lagrangian dynamics that combines the time-like synchronization with the space-like diffusion of signaling molecules. Our results show that the presence of non-participating bacteria improves the homogeneity of the signaling molecule distribution preventing thus an early onset of exofactor production and has a positive effect on the optimization of QS signaling and on attack synchronization.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · IEEE Transactions on NanoBioscience
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    • "Bacteria collectively construct spatially complex and functionally diverse communities, termed biofilms, which are now known to be a dominant form of microbial life (Hall-Stoodley et al., 2004; West et al., 2006, 2007a, b; Nadell et al., 2009; Hibbing et al., 2010; Xavier, 2011). Biofilmdwelling cells secrete extracellular substances, including nutrient-sequestering compounds, digestive enzymes and structural matrices composed of proteins, DNA and polysaccharides (Arvidson, 2000; Visca et al., 2007; Stewart and Franklin, 2008; Flemming and Wingender, 2010; Stewart, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Many bacteria are highly adapted for life in communities, or biofilms. A defining feature of biofilms is the production of extracellular matrix that binds cells together. The biofilm matrix provides numerous fitness benefits, including protection from environmental stresses and enhanced nutrient availability. Here we investigate defense against biofilm invasion using the model bacterium Vibrio cholerae. We demonstrate that immotile cells, including those identical to the biofilm resident strain, are completely excluded from entry into resident biofilms. Motile cells can colonize and grow on the biofilm exterior, but are readily removed by shear forces. Protection from invasion into the biofilm interior is mediated by the secreted protein RbmA, which binds mother-daughter cell pairs to each other and to polysaccharide components of the matrix. RbmA, and the invasion protection it confers, strongly localize to the cell lineages that produce it.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 20 January 2015; doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.246.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · The ISME Journal
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