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      Progress in and promise of bacterial quorum sensing research

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          Abstract

          This Review highlights how we can build upon the relatively new and rapidly developing field of research into bacterial quorum sensing (QS). We now have a depth of knowledge about how bacteria use QS signals to communicate with each other and to coordinate their activities.

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          Most cited references90

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          Social evolution theory for microorganisms.

          Microorganisms communicate and cooperate to perform a wide range of multicellular behaviours, such as dispersal, nutrient acquisition, biofilm formation and quorum sensing. Microbiologists are rapidly gaining a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in these behaviours, and the underlying genetic regulation. Such behaviours are also interesting from the perspective of social evolution - why do microorganisms engage in these behaviours given that cooperative individuals can be exploited by selfish cheaters, who gain the benefit of cooperation without paying their share of the cost? There is great potential for interdisciplinary research in this fledgling field of sociomicrobiology, but a limiting factor is the lack of effective communication of social evolution theory to microbiologists. Here, we provide a conceptual overview of the different mechanisms through which cooperative behaviours can be stabilized, emphasizing the aspects most relevant to microorganisms, the novel problems that microorganisms pose and the new insights that can be gained from applying evolutionary theory to microorganisms.
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            Quorum sensing in bacteria: the LuxR-LuxI family of cell density-responsive transcriptional regulators.

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              The evolution of eusociality.

              Eusociality, in which some individuals reduce their own lifetime reproductive potential to raise the offspring of others, underlies the most advanced forms of social organization and the ecologically dominant role of social insects and humans. For the past four decades kin selection theory, based on the concept of inclusive fitness, has been the major theoretical attempt to explain the evolution of eusociality. Here we show the limitations of this approach. We argue that standard natural selection theory in the context of precise models of population structure represents a simpler and superior approach, allows the evaluation of multiple competing hypotheses, and provides an exact framework for interpreting empirical observations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Nature
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                November 15 2017
                November 15 2017
                : 551
                : 7680
                : 313-320
                Article
                10.1038/nature24624
                5870893
                29144467
                a840ed01-347c-4904-b4b5-2857d689ad3a
                © 2017
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