Multifaceted Interfaces of Bacterial Competition
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Microbial communities span many orders of magnitude, ranging in scale from hundreds of cells on a single particle of soil to billions of cells within the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. Bacterial cells in all habitats are members of densely populated local environments that facilitate competition between neighboring cells. Accordingly, bacteria require dynamic systems to respond to the competitive challenges and the fluctuations in environmental circumstances that tax their fitness. The assemblage of bacteria into communities provides an environment where competitive mechanisms are developed into new strategies for survival. In this minireview, we highlight a number of mechanisms used by bacteria to compete between species. We focus on recent discoveries that illustrate the dynamic and multifaceted functions used in bacterial competition and discuss how specific mechanisms provide a foundation for understanding bacterial community development and function.
author list (cited authors)
Stubbendieck, R. M., & Straight, P. D.