The Black Queen Hypothesis: A new evolutionary theory

Mar 27, 2012

Microorganisms can sometimes lose the ability to perform a function that appears to be necessary for their survival, and yet they still somehow manage to endure and multiply. How can this be? The authors of an opinion piece appearing in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on March 27 explain their ideas about the matter. They say microbes that shed necessary functions are getting others to do the hard work for them, an adaptation that can encourage microorganisms to live in cooperative communities.

The Black Queen Hypothesis, as they call it, puts forth the idea that some of the needs of can be met by other organisms, enabling microbes that rely on one another to live more efficiently by paring down the genes they have to carry around. In these cases, it would make evolutionary sense for a microbe to lose a burdensome gene for a function it doesn't have to perform for itself. The authors, Richard Lenski and J. Jeffrey Morris of Michigan State University, and Erik Zinser of the University of Tennessee, named the hypothesis for the queen of spades in the game Hearts, in which the usual strategy is to avoid taking this card.

"It's a sweeping hypothesis for how free-living microorganisms evolve to become dependent on each other," says Richard Losick of Harvard University, who edited the paper. "The heart of the hypothesis is that many genetic functions provide products that leak in and out of cells and hence become public goods," he says.

As an illustration of the hypothesis, the authors apply it to one particular microbial system that has been a source of some confusion: one of the most common plankton species in the open ocean, Prochlorococcus, which has a much smaller genome than you might expect. Scientists have wondered how Prochlorococcus has managed to be extremely successful while shedding important genes, including the gene for catalase-peroxidase, which allows it to neutralize , a compound that can damage or even kill cells. Prochlorococcus relies on the other microorganisms around it to remove hydrogen peroxide from the environment, say the authors, allowing it to fob off its responsibilities on the unlucky card holders around it. This is an instance of how one species can profit from paring down while relying on other members of the community to help out.

Losick says the Black Queen Hypothesis offers a new way of looking at complicated, inter-dependent communities of microorganisms. "I have a special interest in how bacteria form biofilms, complex natural communities that often consist of many different kinds of bacteria. The Black Queen Hypothesis provides a valuable new way to think about how the members of these biofilm communities coevolved."

Explore further: A clear, molecular view of how human color vision evolved

More information: mbio.asm.org/

Provided by American Society for Microbiology

4.1 /5 (7 votes)

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knowalot
1 / 5 (25) Mar 27, 2012
Then it again it may all be false and the whole idea just a delusion. But thats just modern science for you. Not interested in the truth but in what works best for them.
Sigh
4.8 / 5 (16) Mar 27, 2012
Then it again it may all be false and the whole idea just a delusion.

A delusion is a false belief resistant to contrary evidence. If all hypotheses were true, you wouldn't need empirical science. coming up with hypotheses that, on examination, turn out to be false, is part of the scientific method. The whole point is to find which hypotheses are false, so that you can abandon them. You have not established that there is any delusion.

But thats just modern science for you. Not interested in the truth but in what works best for them.

That doesn't follow from anything you wrote or anything in the article. You have not established that claim, either.
Kinedryl
3.2 / 5 (5) Mar 27, 2012
IMO such a hypothesis is actually a component of many evolutionary models already. It's believed, that many eucaryotic organells emerged as a bacterial symbions or even endoparasites. For example chloroplasts and mitochondria in plant cells are behaving like independent bacteria in certain extent, they've their own DNA and they're even sensitive to the same antibiotics, like the common bacteria.
dweeb
not rated yet Mar 27, 2012
truth is great , but there's some value to the affected lives and practicality of the discoveries
Kinedryl
1 / 5 (15) Mar 27, 2012
Of course, the cold fusion is way more useful truth, than the evolutionary theory. The number of evolutionary theorists we have is in striking contradiction to their practical usefulness. But people never cared about number of priests, which they fed from public sources. Before some time, in Buddhist countries every 2nd man has been a lama - it helped to avoid overpopulation. The price of human life is not so high under such a situation.
foofighter
Mar 27, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
knowalot
1 / 5 (8) Mar 27, 2012
Hi foofigher,

Matthew and Luke are talking about different things, that is why. Besides, the human line of Jesus is just a metaphor because the Bible states He is the only begotten Son of God, and not of human parents.

Based on what evidence do you call it false? I certainly believe the promise of eternal life is true, it is not some kind of religious dummy. I have seen sufficient evidence of this eternal life. There is also an eternal death. My advice would be to try and avoid it, because eternity is a long time.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2012
the human line of Jesus is just a metaphor because the Bible states He is the only begotten Son of God, and not of human parents.
Naw jesus is just a metaphor for something you want more than anything else and will do most anything to get - immortality.
I certainly believe the promise of eternal life is true, it is not some kind of religious dummy. I have seen sufficient evidence of this eternal life.
You see what you want to see. Sorry your judgment is so clouded by fear.
There is also an eternal death. My advice would be to try and avoid it, because eternity is a long time.
Translation: 'Do not threaten my delusions.' So sorry your delusions are so important to you that you need to threaten all who threaten to take them away from you.

My advise is to try to discard all such fear-induced delusions. They prevent you from enjoying all that reality has to offer in this life, the only one you will ever live. DO NOT WASTE IT PRETENDING.
knowalot
1 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2012
Fear is a true human emotion, and a bona fide response to reality. Sometimes fear is justified, such as in life-threatening situations. Fear helps people survive. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom the Bible says. Without God, neither fear nor peace nor happiness could exist. They would just be chemical illusions.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.4 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2012
Fear is a true human emotion, and a bona fide response to reality. Sometimes fear is justified, such as in life-threatening situations. Fear helps people survive. Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom the Bible says.
The bible also says 'ye shall not round the corners of your heads.' So do you wear pigtails? Probably.
Without God, neither fear nor peace nor happiness could exist. They would just be chemical illusions.
More foul religionist lies. These things existed long before your god was invented. They exist naturally within the animal kingdom, of which we are an inextricable part.

Religionism forces people to reproduce beyond their means as a method of 'increasing the flock'; of aggression and conquest. The religions which were best at this, are the ones which survived.

In this they are the main source of suffering and conflict. They are the main threat to peace in the world today. They are the SOURCE of misery.

Peddle your bullshit elsewhere.
knowalot
1 / 5 (4) Mar 28, 2012
Humans are not part of the animal kingdom. Humans have emotions that go beyond what any animal can experience, such as remorse. The human mind only is capable of abstract thought leading to the theory of relativity or masterpieces like Mozarts requiem. To say that humans are animals is a silly statement. It is normal for animals to rape and murder. For humans such things are immoral. You don't really believe your own nonsense.
kochevnik
3 / 5 (6) Mar 28, 2012
Fear is a true human emotion, and a bona fide response to reality.
LOL you claim to KNOW reality! Others are forced to use measures and theories, but not YOU!
To say that humans are animals is a silly statement.
In your case it would be an insult to the animals. For example, animals have sex for fun.
knowalot
1 / 5 (4) Mar 28, 2012
"For example, animals have sex for fun."

Just another spurious statement. Animals act upon instinct. To think that the human concept of "fun" could be translated directly to the animal world is without any scientific basis.
Callippo
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2012
Humans have emotions that go beyond what any animal can experience, such as remorse.
I wouldn't be very sure with it. Maybe just on the contrary the most "emotional" feelings of mankind have their deep unconscious origin in our animal past. The animals can feel guilty in quite apparent way http://www.keepbu...-trouble
- and it's not just the fear of punishment. Sometimes they do exhibit rather the feeling of failure or shame
http://www.keepbu...in-shame
knowalot
1 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2012
Calippo,

That is not serious science. You know that your inner man has more depth than the frolicks of a German sheperd. Or does it? Start being a bit more rational if you can.
kochevnik
3 / 5 (6) Mar 28, 2012
Animals act upon instinct.
Making things up and general retardation are not science. You're just trolling.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2012
Humans have emotions that go beyond what any animal can experience, such as remorse.
How would you know? Even if a scientist told you that this was an elaboration of a natural animal emotion you would not believe him because you have no respect for science. You are fully vested in the religious dogma which reinforces your fantasies, and you will entertain nothing which challenges it.
The human mind only is capable of abstract thought leading to the theory of relativity or masterpieces like Mozarts requiem.
Mozart is pompous crap.
To say that humans are animals is a silly statement. It is normal for animals to rape and murder. For humans such things are immoral. You don't really believe your own nonsense.
Again - read your book. Your god encourages these things. We have discarded religionist morality in favor of the rule of law. WE decide as a society what is right and wrong and we write laws reflecting this. This system is vastly superior to religionist barbarism.
knowalot
1 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2012
"How would you know? "

Well, how would you know? Has evolution fine tuned you to believe in tribal hoaxes? How do you know you are not one seriously deluded individual?

The modern legal system is based on Christian principles like truth, grace and redemption, with impartial judges and decent legal representation. For instance, since the time of Christianity the prison system is based on resocialization rather than primitive revenge.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2012
The modern legal system is based on Christian principles like truth, grace and redemption, with impartial judges and decent legal representation. For instance, since the time of Christianity the prison system is based on resocialization rather than primitive revenge.
The bible says 'an eye for an eye' yes? And the Law is still part of the xian canon.

No, the bible falls far short of what we consider today moral and legal. For instance we have emancipated women.

And perhaps you dont know that the 10 commandments and much of the rest of the Law, like most of the popular fables found in the bible, come from much earlier works such as hammurabis code and the egyptian book of the dead. Even your little godman and his love message originated in the likes of osiris, dionysus, mithra, and so many others.

Religions are all one THING. Yours is only one step in the evolution of this THING. It is not even the most effective. A later, more efficient iteration now threatens the world.
knowalot
1 / 5 (4) Mar 28, 2012
We already discussed the ancient myth theory earlier, and you failed to present any credible evidence that Jesus is a myth is anything but a myth itself. The available evidence all points to the truth of the gospels. So I am not about to repeat all that and refute your new age pseudo science again.

The moral code of Jesus is surpassed by no-one and nothing. That is fact. Your evolutionary tribe theory cannot explain why this gospel code emerged and why people were willing to suffer persecution to share this with others, forfeiting every worldly reward. And that failure irritates atheists.

The Mosaic law is not adhered to by Christians, so that point is void. Jesus fulfilled the law through grace.
MarkyMark
3 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2012
We already discussed the ancient myth theory earlier, and you failed to present any credible evidence that Jesus is a myth is anything but a myth itself. The available evidence all points to the truth of the gospels. So I am not about to repeat all that and refute your new age pseudo science again..


May as well say that Cheesus can be found in one of the Transparent Martians Temples we sometimes get to hear about for ower ammusement. Do you believe this too?

It has as much evidence, even more so thinking about it as The existance of Mars actually has evidence unlike Heaven tho Hell exists tho! its just called Mercury.
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2012
You know that your inner man has more depth than the frolicks of a German sheperd. Or does it?
Every generalization is harmful here. We shouldn't consider the animals as a "nonhuman humans", but we shouldn't consider them as a "walking machines" too. IMO the behavior and feelings of animals is not so different from the unconscious behavior of small kids or large crowds and the spectrum of their emotions is roughly the same. http://26.media.t..._500.gif http://i.imgur.com/gmIxp.gif
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2012
We already discussed the ancient myth theory earlier, and you failed to present any credible evidence that Jesus is a myth is anything but a myth itself.
You declaring this after the fact does not change the fact that I demonstrated clearly that the jesus myth was derived from earlier myths.
http://www.youtub...pp_video

-But thanks for the opportunity to introduce it again.
The available evidence all points to the truth of the gospels.
Another lie. Just one example: the phoney ending added to Mark some 200 years after the gospel was written, in order to include the return of jesus in the flesh, a concept arrived at only after mark was originally written. The unalterable word of god was altered for convenience. Another example - all the stuff claimed to have been written by paul which was obviously written by others.
So I am not about to repeat all that and
-lose again? I dont blame you.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2012
moral code of Jesus is surpassed by no-one and nothing. That is fact.
Then why was the example you yourself used, that of child rape, not included anywhere within jesus' 'moral code'? Yet it does include killing shrubbery from spite (an olive tree). Petulance is moral is it?

And do not cite the luke 17 'little ones' KJV passage out of context, as it clearly refers to believers in general as the NIV correctly shows:

"1 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around your neck than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves."

-More evidence of biblical deception through manipulated translation. Bible adulterers have made it say whatever they wanted to. And you all took it as gospel.

And as the bible is the ONLY source we have of what jesus said, then his 'code' is also fatally flawed.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2012
Your evolutionary tribe theory cannot explain why this gospel code emerged and why people were willing to suffer persecution to share this with others
Yes the nonviolent peacenik religion which nevertheless convinces millions to martyr themselves in great piles, only because they think it will earn them a seat in foreverland? This is every bit as violent as the act of killing them.

I quoted darwin for you. Service and self-sacrifice for the good of the tribe is biologically selected for as it improves the chances that other members will survive to reproduce.

A long time ago some old shyster conceived a way of extending the perception of tribal affinity over groups beyond the natural tribe. He invented the soul and said that some superbeing would keep it alive beyond death, if only the people would worship this being. And bring it succulent offerings, which the old shyster was only too happy to pass along.

Levites made out quite well didnt they? And then there were 12 tribes.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2012
The Mosaic law is not adhered to by Christians, so that point is void. Jesus fulfilled the law through grace
Another advantage of secular laws is that citizens are not allowed to reinterpret them to their advantage. You religionists love to pick and choose bits and pieces of the bible to suit your own particular ends.

Most xians understand that the OT and NT are inseparable.

"According to Augustine of Hippo, Jesus expanded the law but did not replace it."
http://en.wikiped..._the_Law

-Disregarding the law in whole or in part is a sacrilege is it not? In society it can mean you go to jail. In your fantasies it means you roast forever. Are you really willing to rely on someone elses opinions as to what to choose and what to discard?

So many others far holier than you would tell you that your soul is in peril-

"...until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law" MATTHEW 5:18

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