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Antagonistic interactions subdue inter‐species green‐beard cooperation in bacteria


Sathe, Santosh; Kümmerli, Rolf (2020). Antagonistic interactions subdue inter‐species green‐beard cooperation in bacteria. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 33:1245-1255.

Abstract

Cooperation can be favored through the green-beard mechanism, where a set of linked genes encodes both a cooperative trait and a phenotypic marker (green beard), which allows carriers of the trait to selectively direct cooperative acts to other carriers. In theory, the green-beard mechanism should favor cooperation even when interacting partners are totally unrelated at the genome level. Here, we explore such an extreme green-beard scenario between two unrelated bacterial species – Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cenocepacia, which share a cooperative locus encoding the public good pyochelin (an iron-scavenging siderophore) and its cognate receptor (green beard) required for iron-pyochelin uptake. We show that pyochelin, when provided in cell-free supernatants, can be mutually exchanged between species and provide fitness benefits under iron limitation. However, in co-culture we observed that these cooperative benefits vanished and communities were dominated by P. aeruginosa, regardless of strain background and species starting frequencies. Our results further suggest that P. aeruginosa engages in interference competition to suppress B. cenocepacia, indicating that inter-species conflict arising from dissimilarities at the genome level overrule the aligned cooperative interests at the pyochelin locus. Thus, green-beard cooperation is subdued by competition, indicating that inter-specific siderophore cooperation is difficult to evolve and to be maintained.

Abstract

Cooperation can be favored through the green-beard mechanism, where a set of linked genes encodes both a cooperative trait and a phenotypic marker (green beard), which allows carriers of the trait to selectively direct cooperative acts to other carriers. In theory, the green-beard mechanism should favor cooperation even when interacting partners are totally unrelated at the genome level. Here, we explore such an extreme green-beard scenario between two unrelated bacterial species – Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cenocepacia, which share a cooperative locus encoding the public good pyochelin (an iron-scavenging siderophore) and its cognate receptor (green beard) required for iron-pyochelin uptake. We show that pyochelin, when provided in cell-free supernatants, can be mutually exchanged between species and provide fitness benefits under iron limitation. However, in co-culture we observed that these cooperative benefits vanished and communities were dominated by P. aeruginosa, regardless of strain background and species starting frequencies. Our results further suggest that P. aeruginosa engages in interference competition to suppress B. cenocepacia, indicating that inter-species conflict arising from dissimilarities at the genome level overrule the aligned cooperative interests at the pyochelin locus. Thus, green-beard cooperation is subdued by competition, indicating that inter-specific siderophore cooperation is difficult to evolve and to be maintained.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Quantitative Biomedicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:5 July 2020
Deposited On:23 Dec 2020 16:28
Last Modified:24 Dec 2020 21:01
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1010-061X
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jeb.13666
PubMed ID:32946129
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_165835
  • : Project TitleCooperation and competition in bacteria: extension

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