Bacteria have evolved complex systems to maintain consistent cell morphologies. Nevertheless, in certain circumstances, bacteria alter this highly regulated process to transform into filamentous organisms. Accumulating evidence attributes important biological roles to filamentation in stressful environments, including, but not limited to, sites of interaction between pathogenic bacteria and their hosts. Filamentation could represent an intended response to specific environmental cues that promote survival amidst the threats of consumption and killing.
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Justice, S., Hunstad, D., Cegelski, L. et al. Morphological plasticity as a bacterial survival strategy. Nat Rev Microbiol 6, 162–168 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro1820
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