Predatory bacteria are native to many microbial communities and have been found in terrestric and aquatic ecosystems, as well as in the human and animal intestine. A research team at the Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, together with their colleagues from the universities of Nottingham and Bielefeld has now unraveled for the first time the complete genome sequence of a predatory bacterium in order to identify molecular mechanisms that are important when bacteria hunt their own. Insights into this ancient dependency may give rise to novel anti-microbial substances. These substances, however, will not be based on the structures of today's chemical antibiotics, but rather will be deduced from the protein sequences that become available from the Bdellovibrio genome project. Furthermore, the scientists predict in their publication of this weeks edition of Science magazine that Bdellovibrio may be developed into a therapeutic agent that could be used as a "living antibiotic".
Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a fascinating predatory bacterium that attaches specifically to certain other bacteria in order to invade them. Once it has entered its prey, it begins to consume the host cell from the inside. Using Bdellovibrio's genomic information the life cycle of this unique bacterium can now be studied for the first time on a molecular level.
In the free-living phase of its life cycle Bdellovibrio swims at high speed while locating areas of high prey concentration by use of its chemosensory system. Once it has collided with a prey cell, Bdellovibrio stays reversibly attached to it while verifying its suitability for invasion. In the presented model, the recognition mechanism is likely to involve one of several pilus systems that produce long retractable fibers that allow Bdellovibrio to pull itself into close proximity with its prey. By using a lytic cocktail that is capable of degrading lipids, proteins and carbohydrate molecules,Page: 1 2 3 Related biology news :1
Contact: Priv.-Doz. Dr. Stephan C. Schuster
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