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Why do bacteria have both of these mechanisms to deal with the same environmental stress: nutrient deprivation? In a culture exposed to this condition, often both competent cells and sporulated cells are found.

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    $\begingroup$ Sporulation is a process that is very hard reverse. While it is a good as last resort, trying to find a solution (Competence) might be a faster way to resist the stress. Lets say antibiotics were introduced into medium. Part of population might sporulate when detecting malignant conditions but part of population might search for plasmid with resistance genes. In other words, these two mechanisms are independent so we can increase fitness by applying both. $\endgroup$ – Sergej Andrejev Apr 21 '17 at 17:06

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