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Scholarly Communication

Resource supply and the evolution of public-goods cooperation in bacteria

Brockhurst, Michael A.; Buckling, Angus; Racey, Dan and Gardner, Andy (2008) Resource supply and the evolution of public-goods cooperation in bacteria. BioMed Central, 6 . Article Number: 20. ISSN 1741-7007

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Cited 14 times in WoS


Background: Explaining public-goods cooperation is a challenge for evolutionary biology. However, cooperation is expected to more readily evolve if it imposes a smaller cost. Such costs of cooperation are expected to decline with increasing resource supply, an ecological parameter that varies widely in nature. We experimentally tested the effect of resource supply on the evolution of cooperation using two well-studied bacterial public-good traits: biofilm formation by Pseudomonas fluorescens and siderophore production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Results: The frequency of cooperative bacteria increased with resource supply in the context of both bacterial public-good traits. In both cases this was due to decreasing costs of investment into public-goods cooperation with increasing resource supply. Conclusion: Our empirical tests with bacteria suggest that public-goods cooperation is likely to increase with increasing resource supply due to reduced costs of cooperation, confirming that resource supply is an important factor in the evolution of cooperation.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Published: 14 May 2008.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pseudomonas fluorescens; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; evolutionary biologists
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Science > Department of Biological Sciences
Publisher's Statement:© 2008 Brockhurst et al., licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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ID Code:709
Deposited On:09 Jun 2009 11:46
Last Modified:19 May 2011 21:19

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