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Scale of competition has been shown to be an important factor in shaping the evolution of social interactions. Although many theoretical and experimental studies have examined its effect on altruistic cooperation, relatively little research effort has been focused on spiteful behaviors--actions that harm both the actor and the recipient. In this study, we expand on existing theory by investigating the importance of the global frequency of spiteful alleles, and we determine experimentally how the scale of competition affects selection for spite in the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa under high and intermediate spatial relatedness. Consistent with our theoretical results, we found in our experiments that spiteful genotypes are more favored under local (rather than global) competition and intermediate (rather than high) spatial relatedness, conditions that have been shown to select against indiscriminate altruism.

Original publication

DOI

10.1086/660827

Type

Journal article

Journal

The American naturalist

Publication Date

08/2011

Volume

178

Pages

276 - 285

Addresses

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, United Kingdom. fredrik.inglis@env.ethz.ch

Keywords

Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacteriocins, Bacterial Toxins, Competitive Behavior, Population Dynamics, Models, Genetic, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Biological Evolution