Motile curved bacteria are Pareto-optimal

Schuech, Rudi and Hoehfurtner, Tatjana and Smith, David and Humphries, Stuart (2019) Motile curved bacteria are Pareto-optimal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . ISSN 0027-8424

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Abstract

Curved-rods are a ubiquitous bacterial phenotype, but the fundamental question of why they are shaped this way remains unanswered. Through in silico experiments, we assessed freely swimming straight- and curved-rod bacteria of a wide diversity of equal-volume shapes parameterized by elongation and curvature, and predicted their performances in tasks likely to strongly influence overall fitness. Performance tradeoffs between these
tasks lead to a variety of shapes that are Pareto-optimal, including coccoids, all straight rods, and a range of curvatures. Comparison with an extensive morphological survey of motile curved-rod bacteria indicates that the vast majority of species fall within the Pareto-optimal region of morphospace. This result is consistent with evolutionary tradeoffs between just three tasks: efficient swimming, chemotaxis, and low cell construction cost. We thus reveal the underlying selective pressures driving morphological diversity in a wide-spread component of microbial ecosystems.

Keywords:motility, shape, morphology, swimming, evolution
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C500 Microbiology
C Biological Sciences > C770 Biophysical Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:36038
Deposited On:22 May 2019 09:46

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