, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Allolysis in bacteria



The review deals with the phenomenon of allolysis, i.e., lysis of a part of a bacterial population induced by a group of epigenetically differentiated cells of the same species or phylotype. Allolysis is best studied in two species of gram-positive bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Bacillus subtilis. In S. pneumoniae, allolysis is associated with the onset of the competence stage, while in B. subtilis it is associated with transition to the stage of spore formation. The mechanisms of allolysis are considered, as well as its possible role in the populational and symbiotic relationships of bacterial cells. The relation between allolysis ant the programmed death of a part of the cells within a bacterial population (apoptosis) is discussed.


allolysis pneumococci competence cannibalism bacilli spore formation apoptosis 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vavilov Institute of General Genetics Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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