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Coping with nutritional stress is essential for cell survival, of which many strategies at the cellular level lend support for ensuring the survival of the population at a particular habitat. One postulated mechanism is swarming motility in bacterial cells, where, upon depletion of nutrients at a locale, cells would coordinate their movement, synthesize more flagella, and secrete lubricants for moving rapidly across surfaces in search for food. Known to engage in swarming motility, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are two common bacterial species with versatile metabolism that use the motility mode to colonize new habitats with more favourable environmental and nutritional conditions. However, experimental observations of bacteria growth on a variety of agar media revealed that B. subtilis NRS-762 (ATCC 8473) and P. aeruginosa PRD-10 (ATCC 15442) exhibited retarded swarming motility upon entry into stationary phase on solid media. Specifically, B. subtilis NRS-762 colonies exhibited round, wrinkled morphologies compared to complex filamented swarming patterns common in strains able to engage in swarming motility. On the other hand, P. aeruginosa PRD-10 colonies were round, mucoid, and expanded outwards from the colony centre without extending filaments from the centre; thereby, indicating retarded swarming motility. Thus, impaired cellular machinery for swarming motility or mutated and deleted genes likely account for observed retarded swarming motility in B. subtilis NRS-762 and P. aeruginosa PRD-10. More importantly, observations of small filaments extending radially from an expanded colony of P. aeruginosa PRD-10 grown on minimal salts medium supplemented with yeast extract highlighted possible loss of function of effector molecules that transmit cellular decision at swarming motility into movement, while sensory mechanisms feeding into the motility mechanism remained intact. More broadly, observations of impaired swarming motility in B. subtilis NRS-762 and P. aeruginosa PRD-10 in two species otherwise endowed with the motility mode highlighted that additional triggers for swarming motility are likely present, and the motility mode may have been evolutionary selected for other functions in addition to foraging for food in times of nutritional stress.