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Journal Article

Laboratory evolution of microbial interactions in bacterial biofilms


Hölscher,  Theresa
IMPRS on Ecological Interactions, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Martin, M., Hölscher, T., Dragoš, A., Cooper, V. S., & Kovács, Á. T. (2016). Laboratory evolution of microbial interactions in bacterial biofilms. Journal of Bacteriology, 198(19), 2564-2571. doi:10.1128/JB.01018-15.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-E42C-C
Microbial adaptation is conspicuous in essentially every environment, but the mechanisms of adaptive evolution are poorly understood.
Studying evolution in the laboratory under controlled conditions can be a tractable approach, particularly when new,
discernible phenotypes evolve rapidly. This is especially the case in the spatially structured environments of biofilms, which promote
the occurrence and stability of new, heritable phenotypes. Further, diversity in biofilms can give rise to nascent social interactions
among coexisting mutants and enable the study of the emerging field of sociomicrobiology. Here, we review findings
from laboratory evolution experiments with either Pseudomonas fluorescens or Burkholderia cenocepacia in spatially structured
environments that promote biofilm formation. In both systems, ecotypes with overlapping niches evolve and produce competitive
or facilitative interactions that lead to novel community attributes, demonstrating the parallelism of adaptive processes captured
in the lab.