The selective value of bacterial shape. Young, K. D Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews: MMBR, 70(3):660--703, September, 2006.
The selective value of bacterial shape [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Why do bacteria have shape? Is morphology valuable or just a trivial secondary characteristic? Why should bacteria have one shape instead of another? Three broad considerations suggest that bacterial shapes are not accidental but are biologically important: cells adopt uniform morphologies from among a wide variety of possibilities, some cells modify their shape as conditions demand, and morphology can be tracked through evolutionary lineages. All of these imply that shape is a selectable feature that aids survival. The aim of this review is to spell out the physical, environmental, and biological forces that favor different bacterial morphologies and which, therefore, contribute to natural selection. Specifically, cell shape is driven by eight general considerations: nutrient access, cell division and segregation, attachment to surfaces, passive dispersal, active motility, polar differentiation, the need to escape predators, and the advantages of cellular differentiation. Bacteria respond to these forces by performing a type of calculus, integrating over a number of environmental and behavioral factors to produce a size and shape that are optimal for the circumstances in which they live. Just as we are beginning to answer how bacteria create their shapes, it seems reasonable and essential that we expand our efforts to understand why they do so.
@article{young_selective_2006,
	title = {The selective value of bacterial shape},
	volume = {70},
	issn = {1092-2172},
	url = {http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959965},
	doi = {10.1128/MMBR.00001-06},
	abstract = {Why do bacteria have shape? Is morphology valuable or just a trivial secondary characteristic? Why should bacteria have one shape instead of another? Three broad considerations suggest that bacterial shapes are not accidental but are biologically important: cells adopt uniform morphologies from among a wide variety of possibilities, some cells modify their shape as conditions demand, and morphology can be tracked through evolutionary lineages. All of these imply that shape is a selectable feature that aids survival. The aim of this review is to spell out the physical, environmental, and biological forces that favor different bacterial morphologies and which, therefore, contribute to natural selection. Specifically, cell shape is driven by eight general considerations: nutrient access, cell division and segregation, attachment to surfaces, passive dispersal, active motility, polar differentiation, the need to escape predators, and the advantages of cellular differentiation. Bacteria respond to these forces by performing a type of calculus, integrating over a number of environmental and behavioral factors to produce a size and shape that are optimal for the circumstances in which they live. Just as we are beginning to answer how bacteria create their shapes, it seems reasonable and essential that we expand our efforts to understand why they do so.},
	number = {3},
	urldate = {2009-05-03TZ},
	journal = {Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews: MMBR},
	author = {Young, Kevin D},
	month = sep,
	year = {2006},
	pmid = {16959965},
	keywords = {Bacteria, Bacterial Adhesion, Bacterial Physiological Phenomena, Cell Division, Models, Biological},
	pages = {660--703}
}
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