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Daniel P. Haeusser

Another wonderful and thought-provoking commentary. The likely great influence of predation on bacterial behavior has tangentially crossed my mind, but I never stopped to think just how important it could be. How many of these behaviors do we not know about - even among the 'well-characterized' representatives that are investigated when isolated or in terms of plant/animal pathogenesis? Further identification (and general awareness) of the predator/prey interactions that are out there could fuel new ways to model them in the lab.

The relation between protist predation on bacteria and phagocyte defense leads me to also wonder if this may partially account for the lack of archaeal pathogens (Talmudic Question #7). Is anything out there known to prey on archaea (aside from archaeal viruses)? If not this could turn the question from asking why archaea don't cause disease to the direction of 'why don't other cells recognize archaea as something beneficial to prey upon?'

Elio replies: You make several good points, especially the one about the archaea. I hadn't thought of it.

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