When faced with some sugars, bacteria can be picky eaters

8 julio 2014

Researchers have found for the first time that genetically identical strains of bacteria can respond very differently to the presence of sugars and other organic molecules in the environment, with some individual bacteria devouring the sugars and others ignoring it. «While this is the first time we’ve seen such divergent behavior from bacteria regarding sugars, it’s consistent with ‘bet-hedging’ behaviors that have been reported for bacteria in other contexts,» said one researcher. «Bet hedging means that at least some of the bacteria will survive when faced with new environments.»