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Eyelash size. Scientists discover world’s largest bacterium

The bacterium Thiomargarita magnifica is about 1 cm long and 50 times the size of all other such huge bacteria.

Scientists have discovered the world’s largest known bacteria, which resembles a thin white thread, in a swamp in Guadeloupe. This is an overseas territory of France, which is located on the islands in the southern Caribbean. A bacterium called Thiomargarita magnifica is about 1 cm long and this organism is 50 times larger than all the huge bacteria known to science. Thiomargarita magnifica is the first bacterium that can be seen with the naked eye. The Guardian.

According to Jean-Marie Volland of the National Laboratory. Lawrence, which is part of the University of California, USA, scientists found bacteria that look like thin white threads, the size of human eyelashes, on the surface of decaying mangrove leaves in a tropical swamp in Guadeloupe.

According to scientists, the fact that they discovered a new species of such a gigantic bacterium came as a complete surprise to them. After all, according to scientific ideas, bacteria cannot be so huge. Previously, scientists generally believed that such bacteria could have a size that is 100 times smaller than that of the found microorganism.

bacterium Thiomargarita magnifica

According to scientists, the fact that they discovered a new species of such a gigantic bacterium came as a complete surprise to them. After all, according to scientific ideas, bacteria cannot be so huge. Previously, scientists generally believed that such bacteria could have a size that is 100 times smaller than that of the found microorganism.

Photo: The Guardian

“The degree of surprise of our discovery can be compared to the potential meeting of one person of ordinary size with another person who has a height comparable to the height of Everest,” Volland says.

“We discovered this new type of giant bacteria when we were looking for symbiotic microorganisms in the mangrove ecosystem. They were very strange creatures, at least they made such a first impression,” says Olivier Gros from the University of the Antilles.

According to scientists, laboratory analysis showed that this bacterium has a very unusual internal structure. Whereas in most bacteria the DNA floats freely within the cell, in this bacterium the DNA has a concentrated, defined location.

“Our analysis showed that this bacterium has three times as many genes as most other bacteria. We also found that Thiomargarita magnifica is a very complex microorganism, because this bacterium has hundreds of thousands of copies of the genome located in each cell,” says Volland .

bacterium Thiomargarita magnifica

According to scientists, laboratory analysis showed that this bacterium has a very unusual internal structure. While in most bacteria the DNA floats freely within the cell, in this bacterium the DNA has a concentrated, defined location.

Photo: The Guardian

Scientists say they haven’t yet come to a consensus on how this new bacterial species evolved to become so huge.

“One theory is that the bacterium became hundreds of times larger than the predators so they couldn’t eat it,” Volland says.

Scientists believe that these bacteria, having become such giants, have lost some of the advantages of ordinary microscopic bacteria. This, for example, concerns the ability to move and colonize a new habitat. The researchers believe that, nevertheless, these bacteria adapted to the new conditions and were able to change their interaction with the environment.

So far, scientists have not found these bacteria in other places nearby. Even when the researchers returned some time later to the same swamp, they no longer found these thin white threads.

“Perhaps these bacteria are seasonal microorganisms. And it seems to us that these huge and very complex bacteria are hiding in plain sight,” Volland says.

Focus already wrote that scientists have found that bacteria can make sounds and even recorded them.

We also remind you that methane-eating bacteria can turn greenhouse gas into fuel, scientists have found.

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