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I had to double take on this. This finding defies the usual reasoning, since you’d expect that the mutation conferring resistance would be a disadvantage in an environment without the selective pressure of antibiotics. Especially in the case of such a drastic effect (3x colony size), you’d think that would be selected for without requiring antibiotic treatment since they become quite a bit more fit, but apparently not. I would still expect that the mutation is a disadvantage in an environment where the “biofilm phase” is required (but don’t know for sure; maybe they address this in the paper).
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