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BACKGROUND Microbes engage in a remarkable array of cooperative behaviors, secreting shared proteins that are essential for foraging, shelter, microbial warfare, and virulence. These proteins are costly, rendering populations of cooperators vulnerable to exploitation by nonproducing cheaters arising by gene loss or migration. In such conditions, how can(More)
Many species of deciduous trees display striking colour changes in autumn. Here, we present a functional hypothesis: bright autumn coloration serves as an honest signal of defensive commitment against autumn colonizing insect pests. According to this hypothesis, individuals within a signalling species show variation in the expression of autumn coloration,(More)
The study of quorum-sensing bacteria has revealed a widespread mechanism of coordinating bacterial gene expression with cell density. By monitoring a constitutively produced signal molecule, individual bacteria can limit their expression of group-beneficial phenotypes to cell densities that guarantee an effective group outcome. In this paper, we attempt to(More)
Classical models of virulence evolution conclude that the increased competition favoured by multiple infection will select for increasing consumption and deterioration of the host resource, or 'virulence'. However, recent empirical and theoretical studies suggest that this view of virulence has some shortcomings. Here, we argue that the evolutionary(More)
Antivirulence drugs are a new type of therapeutic drug that target virulence factors, potentially revitalising the drug-development pipeline with new targets. As antivirulence drugs disarm the pathogen, rather than kill or halt pathogen growth, it has been hypothesized that they will generate much weaker selection for resistance than traditional(More)
Quorum sensing (QS) is a cell-cell communication system that controls gene expression in many bacterial species, mediated by diffusible signal molecules. Although the intracellular regulatory mechanisms of QS are often well-understood, the functional roles of QS remain controversial. In particular, the use of multiple signals by many bacterial species poses(More)
Standard virulence evolution theory assumes that virulence factors are maintained because they aid parasitic exploitation, increasing growth within and/or transmission between hosts. An increasing number of studies now demonstrate that many opportunistic pathogens (OPs) do not conform to these assumptions, with virulence factors maintained instead because(More)
Despite increasing evidence of host phenotypic manipulation by parasites, the underlying mechanisms causing infected hosts to act in ways that benefit the parasite remain enigmatic in most cases. Here, we used proteomics tools to identify the biochemical alterations that occur in the head of the cricket Nemobius sylvestris when it is driven to water by the(More)
Understanding and predicting parasite strategies is of interest not only for parasitologists, but also for anyone interested in epidemiology, control strategies and evolutionary medicine. From an ecological and evolutionary perspective, parasites are an important feature of their hosts' selective environment, and may have diverse roles, ranging from the(More)
Numerous studies have demonstrated that parasites with complex life cycles frequently manipulate the phenotype of their hosts to increase their transmission rate. Little is known, however, concerning density-dependent processes within infrapopulations of manipulative parasites--whether parasites cooperate to manipulate the host, whether competition(More)