Jonathan M's challenge can be found here:
And it is answered here:
1. BMC Evol Biol. 2011 Aug 16;11(1):240.
"Our findings explain several results from diverse bacteria and lead to testable predictions regarding chemotaxis responses evolved in bacteria living under different biophysical constraints and with specific motility machinery. Further, they shed light on the potential evolutionary paths for the evolution of complex behaviours from simpler ones in incremental fashion."
2. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Jun;77(12):4105-18.
"Five batch cultures of Bacillus subtilis were subjected to evolution in the laboratory for 6,000 generations under conditions repressing sporulation in complex liquid medium containing glucose. Between generations 1,000 and 2,000, variants with a distinct small-colony morphology arose and swept through four of the five populations that had been previously noted for their loss of sporulation " [SERIOUSLY!]
3. BMC Genomics. 2010 Oct 20;11:588.
"Properties described by gene ontology terms identified in the overrepresentation analysis are often consistent with individual prokaryote lifestyles and are likely to give a competitive advantage to the organism."
4. Adv Appl Microbiol. 2009;66:53-75.
"The analysis of complete genome sequences from microorganisms that occupy diverse ecological niches reveal the presence of multiple chemotaxis pathways and a great diversity of chemoreceptors with novel sensory specificities."
5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jan 26;107(4):1391-6.
"We show that the maximin response is the unique one that always outcompetes motile but nonchemotactic bacteria. The maximin strategy is adapted to the variable environments experienced by bacteria, and we explicitly show its emergence in simulations of bacterial populations in a chemostat. Finally, we recast the contrast of evolution in regular vs. complex environments in terms of minimax vs. maximin game-theoretical strategies. Our results are generally relevant to biological optimization principles and provide a systematic possibility to get around the need to know precisely the statistics of environmental fluctuations."
6. BMC Microbiol. 2009 Mar 16;9:56.
"Deletion of the second DUF439 protein had only minimal effects. HEAT_PBS proteins could be identified in the chemotaxis gene regions of all motile haloarchaea sequenced so far, but not in those of other archaeal species. Genes coding for DUF439 proteins, however, were found to be integral parts of chemotaxis gene regions across the archaeal domain, and they were not detected in other genomic context."
7. Mol Microbiol. 2008 Dec;70(5):1054-61.
"Class II CheCs likely function as phosphatases in systems other than chemotaxis. Class III CheCs are found in the archaeal class Halobacteria and might function as class I CheCs. FliY is the main phosphatase in the B. subtilis chemotaxis system. CheX is quite divergent from the rest of the family, forms a dimer and some may function outside chemotaxis. A model for the evolution of the family is discussed."
8. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 May 27;105(21):7500-5.
"Despite their complexity, the networks must be evolvable because of changing ecological and environmental pressures. Although the regulatory networks underlying stress responses are characterized extensively, their mechanism of evolution remains poorly understood. Here, we examine the evolution of three candidate stress response networks (chemotaxis, competence for DNA uptake, and endospore formation) by analyzing their phylogenetic distribution across several hundred diverse bacterial and archaeal lineages. We report that genes in the chemotaxis and sporulation networks group into well defined evolutionary modules with distinct functions, phenotypes, and substitution rates as compared with control sets of randomly chosen genes. The evolutionary modules vary in both number and cohesiveness among the three pathways. Chemotaxis has five coherent modules whose distribution among species shows a clear pattern of interdependence and rewiring."