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The Evolution of Nodulation in Rhizobium: Altruism in the

By I. Olivieri and S. A. Frank


In this note, we suggest that kin-selection could be the main selective force maintaining nodulation and nitrogen fixation in Rhizobium bacteria. Our model stresses how the selfsacrificing individuals that form nodules gain by increasing the flow of root exudates to their relatives in a more or less continuous rhizospheric population. It has been suggested (Jimenez and Casadesus 1989) that there is no obvious direct selective force maintaining the ability of Rhizobium to form nodules and fix nitrogen with legumes. We propose that these bacteria are favored to differentiate into nodules and thereby sacrifice their ow

Year: 2011
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