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Retaliation: Toxin producers produce a small amount of toxin all the time (green and red cells). A provoking toxin-producer (right) is sensed through its released toxin by its competitor (left), which in turn becomes more aggressive by producing more toxin, causing significant damage to the provoker. The panels at the bottom show the difference in outcome when a strain is non-provoking (green colony, left panel) or provoking (green colony, right panel) against the same competitor (unlabelled colony in both panels).

Bacteria can ‘divide and conquer’ to vanquish their enemies

Bacteria frequently take part in 'warfare' by discharging toxins or different molecules that harm or slaughter contending strains. This war for assets happens in...