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Widespread density dependence of bacterial growth under acid stress

Fiegna, F and Pande, S and Peitz, H and Velicer, GJ (2023) Widespread density dependence of bacterial growth under acid stress. In: iScience, 26 (7).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.106952


Many microbial phenotypes are density-dependent, including group-level phenotypes emerging from cooperation. However, surveys for the presence of a particular form of density dependence across diverse species are rare, as are direct tests for the Allee effect, i.e., positive density dependence of fitness. Here, we test for density-dependent growth under acid stress in five diverse bacterial species and find the Allee effect in all. Yet social protection from acid stress appears to have evolved by multiple mechanisms. In Myxococcus xanthus, a strong Allee effect is mediated by pH-regulated secretion of a diffusible molecule by high-density populations. In other species, growth from low density under acid stress was not enhanced by high-density supernatant. In M. xanthus, high cell density may promote predation on other microbes that metabolically acidify their environment, and acid-mediated density dependence may impact the evolution of fruiting-body development. More broadly, high density may protect most bacterial species against acid stress.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: iScience
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Author.
Keywords: Bacteriology; Microbiology
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Microbiology & Cell Biology
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2023 07:19
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2023 07:19
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/82453

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