Likely common among bacteria, this act of microscopic justice not only ensures the survival of the group's most industrious members, but also could be used for agriculture, fuel production and the treatment of bacterial infections such as cholera, explained first author
By encouraging this action, scientists could increase the efficiency of any process that relies on bacteria to break down organic materials, such as plant materials into biofuels, or cellulose into paper products, Drescher said. For treating a disease, the mechanism could be counteracted to effectively starve the more productive bacteria and weaken the infection.
"We could use our discovery to develop strategies that encourage the proliferation of microbes that digest dead organic material into useful products," Drescher said. "Such an approach will be useful for optimizing nutrient recycling for agriculture, bioremediation, industrial cleanup, or making products for industry or medicine."
Keywords for this news article include: Agriculture,
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