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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)
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)
Microbes are predominantly found in surface-attached and spatially structured polymicrobial communities. Within these communities, microbial cells excrete a wide range of metabolites, setting the stage for interspecific metabolic interactions. The links, however, between metabolic and ecological interactions (functional relationships), and species spatial(More)
General models of the evolution of cooperation, altruism and other social behaviours have focused almost entirely on single traits, whereas it is clear that social traits commonly interact. We develop a general kin-selection framework for the evolution of social behaviours in multiple dimensions. We show that whenever there are interactions among social(More)
The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites.(More)
Medical science is typically pitted against the evolutionary forces acting upon infective populations of bacteria. As an alternative strategy, we could exploit our growing understanding of population dynamics of social traits in bacteria to help treat bacterial disease. In particular, population dynamics of social traits could be exploited to introduce less(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)
Locally adapted residents present a formidable barrier to invasion . One solution for invaders is to kill residents . Here, we explore the comparative ecological dynamics of two distinct microbial mechanisms of killing competitors, via the release of chemicals (e.g., bacteriocins ) and via the release of parasites (e.g., temperate phage ). We compared the(More)
The high levels of intelligence seen in humans, other primates, certain cetaceans and birds remain a major puzzle for evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists. It has long been held that social interactions provide the selection pressures necessary for the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities (the 'social intelligence hypothesis'),(More)
We employ a simple model to show that social selection can lead to prezygotic reproductive isolation. The evolution of social discrimination causes the congealing of phenotypically similar individuals into different, spatially distinct tribes. However, tribal formation is only obtained for certain types of social behavior: altruistic and selfish acts can(More)