Monday, May 31, 2021

454 - Hitchhiking Horticultural Helpers

Bacteria carrying spores
By Muok et al. 2021
This episode: Spores of some bacteria latch onto the tails of other bacteria and ride along as they move around in the soil!

Download Episode (5.5 MB, 8.0 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Bohle iridovirus

News item

The soil is a complex environment, and microbes that live in soil need complex lifestyles to thrive. There are many examples of cooperation, competition, and other adaptations to highly varied situations.

In this study, bacteria that grow like filamentous fungi don't have the mechanisms to move autonomously, but their spores can hitch rides on other kinds of bacteria that swarm through the soil using their propeller-like tails called flagella to push themselves toward the plant roots they prefer to grow near.

Journal Paper:
Muok AR, Claessen D, Briegel A. 2021. Microbial hitchhiking: how Streptomyces spores are transported by motile soil bacteria. ISME J.

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