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Chapter 17 : Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions

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Abstract:

As an approach to explore the significance of biotic interactions on the biology and evolution of microorganisms, this chapter considers three topics in detail: the production of compounds with bacteriocidal properties; interactions between bacteria and bacteriophage; and metabolic cooperation, both among microorganisms and with “higher organisms” (i.e., animals and plants). Numerous structurally diverse compounds with biological activity are synthesized by microorganisms, and many of these compounds appear to function as mediators of antagonistic interactions. Antibiotic-producing bacteria are also exploited by higher organisms as a means of chemical defense. Bacteriocins play a role in protecting resources from closely related competitors, and, for and many other bacteria, the resource is a living host. The relationship between bacteria and virulent bacteriophage is unambiguously antagonistic and, in the absence of disturbance, subject to persistent antagonistic coevolution, i.e., reciprocal selection for increased bacterial resistance and phage infectivity. However, it is to the advantage of lysogenic phage (which are passively replicated with the bacterial host genes) to minimize the costs to the host, an illustration of the generality that vertical transmission tends to reduce antagonism and promote cooperation. Many microorganisms cooperate with higher organisms (hosts), by the net microbeto-host transfer of the products of metabolic capabilities possessed by the microorganisms but not their hosts (e.g., nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis). Further research is required to establish the genetic and metabolic bases of nutrient transfer in these associations.

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17

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Bacterial Cell Wall
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Amino Acid Synthesis
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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

The association between the aetinomycete sp. and fungus-growing ants, (a) Scanning electron micrograph of ventral view of the ant , showing the sp. infection on the insect exoskeleton (arrow) on a body segment posterior to the head (scale bar = 500 μm). (b) Scanning electron micrograph of sp., showing characteristic growth pattern on the insect cuticle (scale bar = 10 μm). Reproduced from .

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

The relationship between antibiotic-producing bacteria of the genera and entomopathogenic nematodes, (a) The life cycle of the nematode, (b) Hydroxystilbene antibiotics produced by . Figure reproduced from .

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17
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Image of FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3

Incidence of colicin production and resistance in isolated from feral mice. The percentage of strains tested that produced (a) and were resistant (b) to each of eight colicins is shown. Redrawn from .

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17
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Image of FIGURE 4
FIGURE 4

Antagonistic coevolution between the bacterium and a bacteriophage. The proportion of resistant bacteria is shown on the axis. The bacteria resistant to the ancestral phage (open squares), contemporary phage (closed circles), and phage from two transfers in the future (open circles) in 12 replicate experiments (mean ± standard error) are displayed. Figure reproduced from .

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17
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Image of FIGURE 5
FIGURE 5

Catabolism of the -triazine herbicide atrazine by a consortium of spp. and spp. Reproduced from .

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17
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Image of FIGURE 6
FIGURE 6

The metabolic basis of interspecies hydrogen transfer. (a) Free energy change associated with the oxidation of the primary alcohols ethanol (unbroken line), butyrate (dotted line), and propionate (dashed line) as a function of the partial pressure of hydrogen. (b) The dissimilation of ethanol by a consortium of a fermenter and methanogen. Redrawn from with permission from Oxford University Press.

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17
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Image of FIGURE 7
FIGURE 7

The metabolic basis for the transport of ammonia (grey block arrow) from symbiotic rhizobia to their plant host.

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17
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Image of FIGURE 8
FIGURE 8

Ratio of synonymous to nonsynonymous substitutions per site (K/K) for protein-coding genes between in two aphid species and and between the enteric bacteria and serovar Typhimurium) to which is closely allied. Redrawn from .

Citation: Douglas A. 2004. Strategies in Antagonistic and Cooperative Interactions, p 275-289. In Miller R, Day M (ed), Microbial Evolution. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817749.ch17
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