Talking bacteria line up in microscopic phalanx to fight enemies

In science, Uncategorized on December 18, 2011 at 04:12

In modern warfare coded messages are an important tool to ensure that units on the battlefield can co-ordinate their actions against the enemy and win the fight.

Scientists at UC Davis have found that bacteria use tiny protein messengers to co-ordinate their actions against victims and enemies.

In a study on bacteria feeding off rice-plants, a protein a called ax21 was found, enabling the bacteria to talk to each other in the event of an attack against the bacterial colony. The molecule is produced inside the bacteria and secreted, to tip off the other bacteria so they can line up in a phalanx, creating a bio-film surrounding the colony, protecting it against drying out or succumbing to antibiotics.

Tuberculosis colony

Tuberculosis colony

By working together and making individual sacrifice, they increase the survival-rate of the entire colony.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: