Bacterial solutions to multicellularity: a tale of biofilms, filaments and fruiting bodies

  title={Bacterial solutions to multicellularity: a tale of biofilms, filaments and fruiting bodies},
  author={Dennis Claessen and Daniel E. Rozen and Oscar P. Kuipers and Lotte S{\o}gaard-Andersen and Gilles P. van Wezel},
  journal={Nature Reviews Microbiology},
Although bacteria frequently live as unicellular organisms, many spend at least part of their lives in complex communities, and some have adopted truly multicellular lifestyles and have abandoned unicellular growth. These transitions to multicellularity have occurred independently several times for various ecological reasons, resulting in a broad range of phenotypes. In this Review, we discuss the strategies that are used by bacteria to form and grow in multicellular structures that have… 
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  • J. Shapiro
  • Biology
    Annual review of microbiology
  • 1998
Bacteria benefit from multicellular cooperation by using cellular division of labor, accessing resources that cannot effectively be utilized by single cells, collectively defending against antagonists, and optimizing population survival by differentiating into distinct cell types.
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It is shown that multicellular complexity, including development from a single cell, can evolve rapidly in a unicellular organism that has never had aMulticellular ancestor, and that unice cellular propagules are adaptive even in the absence of intercellular conflict, maximizing cluster-level fecundity.
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