Bacteria supply their allies with munitions

Bacteria fight their competitors with molecular spear guns, the so-called Type VI secretion system. When firing this weapon they also unintentionally hit their own kind. However, as Prof. Marek Basler from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel reports in the journal Cell, the related bacteria strains benefit from coming under fire. They recycle the protein components of the spear guns and use these to build their own weapons.

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