Evolution of Society (Philosophical Transactions of the by T. Clutton-Brock, S. West, F. Ratnieks, R. Foley

By T. Clutton-Brock, S. West, F. Ratnieks, R. Foley

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The top row of mice represents the initial population of hosts which are infected with either wild-type (W in green) or cheat (C in red) strains of bacteria. The arrows represent transmission to new hosts, represented by the lower row of mice. (a) Illustrates the fact that wild-type strains are more productive and better at transmission and colonization of new hosts. This promotes the maintenance of cooperative behaviour in the global population: even though cheats can outcompete wild-type strains within hosts, groups containing only wild-type will be more productive and more likely to spread to new hosts (this requires that wildtype and cheats tend to be in different hosts—high relatedness).

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