Kannibalismus und Brudermord: Warum Bakterien Artgenossen töten

Abstract

Antibiotics are classically viewed as ‘biological weapons’ that allow
bacteria to thrive and survive in competitive environments. Intuitively,
they therefore target cells of different, competing species. A number of
recent reports shed light on a novel facet of antibiotic action by discovering
antimicrobial compounds that target the producing species itself. The
relevance of these processes, termed cannibalism or fratricide, is discussed
in an evolutionary and ecological context.

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