- Bacteria respond to conflict much the same as humans do – by going to war with the competition – a study published in Current Biology says.
- Studying pairs of strains of E. coli, the researchers found that each strain used a toxin to poison the other when it came to competing for space.
- The toxin produced by one strain would not harm its own members but would be toxic to other strains. Hence this behaviour was seen as a war between the two strains.
- This is used by the bacteria to establish themselves, for example, in the human gut.
- Members of different strains varied in the intensity of attacking which varied from hyper-aggressive to passive.
- While this is known in animals, this is the first such study to see such behaviour among bacteria.