Microbial bet-hedging: the power of being different

Ard Jan Grimbergen, Jeroen Siebring, Ana Solopova, Oscar P Kuipers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Bet-hedging is an evolutionary theory that describes how risk spreading can increase fitness of a genotype in an unpredictably changing environment. To achieve risk spreading, maladapted phenotypes develop within isogenic populations that may be fit for a future environment. In recent years, various observations of microbial phenotypic heterogeneity have been denoted as bet-hedging strategies, sometimes without sufficient evidence to support this claim. Here, we discuss selected examples of microbial phenotypic heterogeneity that so far do seem consistent with the evolutionary theory concept of bet-hedging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2015

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