When they looked at the results, they found the expected loss of pyoverdine. The reduction also correlated nicely with time. But this wasn't all good news. When the team examined the receptor, it also went down. The decline was slow at first but then, after a few years, seemed to speed up. Instead of developing instability, the cells somehow figured out how to stop the cheaters by signalling a need to drop the receptors. If the entire community wasn't pitching in, the system was destined to be lost.