Social Evolution Selects for Redundancy in Bacterial Quorum Sensing

Eran Even-Tov, Shira Omer Bendori, Julie Valastyan, Xiaobo Ke, Shaul Pollak, Tasneem Bareia, Ishay Ben-Zion, Bonnie L. Bassler, Avigdor Eldar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quorum sensing is a process of chemical communication that bacteria use to monitor cell density and coordinate cooperative behaviors. Quorum sensing relies on extracellular signal molecules and cognate receptor pairs. While a single quorum-sensing system is sufficient to probe cell density, bacteria frequently use multiple quorum-sensing systems to regulate the same cooperative behaviors. The potential benefits of these redundant network structures are not clear. Here, we combine modeling and experimental analyses of the Bacillus subtilis and Vibrio harveyi quorum-sensing networks to show that accumulation of multiple quorum-sensing systems may be driven by a facultative cheating mechanism. We demonstrate that a strain that has acquired an additional quorum-sensing system can exploit its ancestor that possesses one fewer system, but nonetheless, resume full cooperation with its kin when it is fixed in the population. We identify the molecular network design criteria required for this advantage. Our results suggest that increased complexity in bacterial social signaling circuits can evolve without providing an adaptive advantage in a clonal population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1002386
JournalPLoS biology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 29 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Social Evolution Selects for Redundancy in Bacterial Quorum Sensing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Even-Tov, E., Omer Bendori, S., Valastyan, J., Ke, X., Pollak, S., Bareia, T., Ben-Zion, I., Bassler, B. L., & Eldar, A. (2016). Social Evolution Selects for Redundancy in Bacterial Quorum Sensing. PLoS biology, 14(2), [e1002386]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002386