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Microbes and their hosts -- exploring the complexity of symbiosis in DNA and cell biology
Date:7/28/2009

term "symbiont plasticity" describes the mechanisms by which symbiotic microbes adapt to changes in host development, immune responses, and the changing external environment. Jennifer Wernegreen, PhD, from the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, MA, and Diana Wheeler, PhD, from the University of Arizona, in Tucson, use the example of mutualism between Blochmannia and their ant hosts to illustrate how the bacteria rely on genetic, ecological, and physiological means to maintain the functional flexibility that allows them to meet the needs of an ant colony rather than the individual ants that make up the colony. Their thought-provoking review of the impact of symbiotic lifestyle on genetic variation and microbial adaptation is entitled, "Remaining Flexible in Old Alliances: Functional Plasticity in Constrained Mutualisms."

Adam Silver and Joerg Graf from the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, explore the role of virulence factors and specific toxins produced by members of the Aeromonas veronii bacterial group in the article "Prevalence of Genes Encoding the Type Three Secretion System and the Effectors AexT and AexU in the Aeromonas veronii Group." These bacteria can cause a range of infections, from diarrhea and wound infections to life-threatening septicemia and meningitis. The authors demonstrate the presence of the type-3 secretion factors AexT and AexU in a variety of Aeromonas veronii strains and propose different functions for these two toxins.


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Contact: Vicki Cohn
vcohn@liebertpub.com
914-740-2156
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News
Source:Eurekalert

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