Ecological and evolutive implications of bacterial defences against predators
Article first published online: 31 OCT 2011
© 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Special Issue: Ecology, Evolution and Population Genetics of Pathogenic Microbes
Volume 14, Issue 8, pages 1830–1843, August 2012
How to Cite
Jousset, A. (2012), Ecological and evolutive implications of bacterial defences against predators. Environmental Microbiology, 14: 1830–1843. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02627.x
- Issue published online: 26 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 31 OCT 2011
- Received 9 February, 2011; accepted 24 September, 2011.
Bacterial communities are often heavily consumed by microfaunal predators, such as protozoa and nematodes. Predation is an important cause of mortality and determines the structure and activity of microbial communities in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and bacteria evolved various defence mechanisms helping them to resist predation. In this review, I summarize known antipredator defence strategies and their regulation, and explore their importance for bacterial fitness in various environmental conditions, and their implications for bacterial evolution and diversification under predation pressure. I discuss how defence mechanisms affect competition and cooperation within bacterial communities. Finally I present some implications of bacterial defence mechanisms for ecosystem services provided by microbial communities, such as nutrient cycling, virulence and the biological control of plant diseases.