The new bacterium, the size of an eyelash, almost broke the record of measurement

The new bacterium, the size of an eyelash, almost broke the record of measurement
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Bakteriya,<em>Ca.  Thiomargarita magnifica, discovered in the French Caribbean mangroves</em><em>Thiomargarita</em> belongs to the genus. “/><figcaption class=

Enlarge / Bacteria, Here it is. Thiomargarita is spectacularIt belongs to the genus Mangrove found in the French Caribbean Thiomarqarita.

Thomas Tyml

Clinging to the rubble in the shallow, mangrove forests of the French Caribbean, organisms like tiny threads visible to the naked eye have earned the title of the largest bacteria known to date.

About an inch long, they are about the size and shape of human eyelashes, 5,000 times larger than the various bacteria in the garden, and 50 times larger than the bacteria previously considered giant. From a human point of view, this is like encountering a man as tall as Mount Everest.

Sampling sites among the mangroves of the French Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe, April-May 2022.
Enlarge / Sampling sites among the mangroves of the French Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe, April-May 2022.

Pierre Yves Pascal

Olivier Gross, a biologist at the University of the Antilles, discovered prokaryotes in 2009 and found them swaying gently in sulfur-rich waters among the mangroves in the Guadeloupe archipelago. Gross told a news briefing that the bacteria had stuck to leaves, twigs, oyster shells and glass sunk in a tropical swamp.

He and his colleagues initially thought that they could be complex eukaryotic organisms or perhaps a series of interconnected organisms. However, many years of genetic and molecular research have shown that each chain is, in fact, a highly bacterial cell that is genetically related to other sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. “Of course, it was a big surprise,” Jean-Marie Woland, a microbiologist at the Joint Genome Institute in Berkeley, California, told a briefing.

Published by Gros and colleagues this week An article in the journal Science explaining everything they learned about the new, giant bacteria they call Candidatus (Ca.) Thiomargarita magnifica.

Their findings expand our understanding of microbial diversity in ways that microbiologists do not consider possible. Scientists have previously speculated that the size of bacteria will be limited by a number of factors, including the lack of intracellular transport systems, dependence on inefficient chemical diffusion, and the surface-to-volume ratio needed to meet energy needs. Again, single volume Here it is. magnificent T. Wolland said the cell is at least twice the maximum that a bacterium could theoretically achieve.

Woland, Gross and colleagues are still learning how and why.Here it is. magnificent T. manages its mass size. But so far this is clear Here it is. magnificent T. hydrogen sulfide oxidizes sulfur-rich media and reduces nitrate. About 75 percent of its cell volume is stored in the nitrate sac. The sac is compressed into the cell envelope and limits the depth required for the distribution of nutrients and other molecules.

Although bacteria have free-floating DNA, Here it is. magnificent T. More than half a million copies of its genome appear to have been assembled into numerous membrane-bound sections, and researchers named it pepin after the small seeds in the fruit. The distribution of cucumbers along the outer edges of the bacteria can allow local protein production, eliminating the need for long-distance transport of proteins.

The next step in studying these giant bacteria is to understand how scientists will grow them in laboratories. So far, researchers have collected new specimens from mangrove forests each time they are depleted. But it was difficult because it seemed like a mysterious life cycle or seasonality. Gross has not been found for the past two months. “I don’t know where they are,” he said.

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