Navigation Links
Fungi: Another tool in bacteria's belt?
Date:11/28/2011

Bacteria and fungi are remarkably mobile. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the two organisms enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship to aid them in that movement and their survival.

Fungal spores can attach themselves to bacteria, "hitching a ride" wherever the bacteria travel. And while this allows them to travel further than they would on their own, says Prof. Eshel Ben-Jacob of TAU's Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy, it's certainly not a one-way street. Bacteria live largely in the rhizosphere the environment that surrounds plant roots where air pockets can interrupt their progress, he explains. When faced with a gap, the bacteria can drop the fungal spores to form a bridge, and continue across the chasm.

The research, which was recently published in PNAS, was done in collaboration with Dr. Colin J. Ingham of Wageningen University and JBZ Hospital in the Netherlands, the paper's lead author; post-doctoral fellow Dr. Alin Finkelshtein; and graduate student Oren Kalishman working in Prof. Ben-Eshel's TAU lab.

This discovery contributes to our understanding of the way bacteria and fungi spread. Confirmation that the two organisms work in collaboration will help scientists fight disease-causing bacteria, or promote the spread of "good kinds" of bacteria or fungi, such as those that contribute to the health of plants. "In addition we now know that when you fight fungi, you are also fighting bacteria and vice versa," notes Prof. Ben-Jacob.

A bridge to mutual survival

Mobile or "motile" bacteria, such as Paenibacillus vortex, are known to be able to carry cargo. With this in mind, the researchers were motivated to test whether P. vortex would be able to carry non-motile fungi, aiding in its dispersion. In fact, they observed that not only can the bacteria transport the fungi over long distances, like humans being carried by air travel, but they are also able to recover fungal spores from life-threatening locations, moving them to new and more favorable places where they can germinate and start new colonies. "The bacteria entrap the spores and wrap them in their flagella, which are like arms," explains Prof. Ben-Jacob. "This is similar to the way the Lilliputians moved the giant Gulliver by trapping him in a mesh of ropes."

But the bacteria's services aren't free. In an experiment, the researchers created air gaps or "canyons" too large for bacteria to cross. When confronted with this challenge, the bacteria used the fungi's mycelia branch-like structures on the spores as natural bridges, enabling them to cross otherwise impenetrable gaps, notes Dr. Ingham.

"We see that upon encountering impossible terrains, the bacteria can bring fungal spores to help," Prof. Ben-Jacob continues. "The bacteria allow the fungi to germinate and form a colony, and then use the mycelia to cross obstacles."

Taking over new territories

Ultimately, this collaboration helps both the bacteria and the fungi to spread and thrive in highly competitive habitats. It's a sophisticated survival strategy, say the researchers, and contributes to our understanding of bacteria as smart organisms with an intricate social life. "The bacteria never let us down," Prof. Ben-Jacob says with a smile. "Just present them with a new challenge and you can be sure they'll provide new surprises."

These observations can also be applied to agriculture and medicine, showing new mechanisms by which bacteria and fungi can help one another to invade new territories in the rhizosphere as well as in hospitals and within our own bodies.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Another clue to how obesity works
2. As One Life Starts, Another May Be Saved
3. No One Treatment for Acid Reflux Clearly Better Than Another: Study
4. Another Blood Test for Alzheimers Shows Promise
5. FDA Approves Another New Drug to Fight Hepatitis C
6. Study suggests another look at testosterone-prostate cancer link
7. FDA approval of brain aneurysm device gives Jefferson neurosurgeons another life-saving tool
8. Tufts biologists find another clue to the origins of degenerative diseases
9. Penn study suggests another avenue for detecting Alzheimers disease
10. Polluted Air Another Danger to U.S. Troops in Iraq
11. Scientists Spot Another Gene Behind Type 2 Diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fungi: Another tool in bacteria's belt?
(Date:9/22/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... to help you brush more effectively even on the go. Their electric toothbrushes ... gingivitis and gum inflammation, with UV sanitizing technology. Combining leading edge Enke technology ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... Global Lyme Alliance ... research, education and awareness, today announced the appointment of Timothy J. Sellati, Ph.D. ... Sellati has more than 20 years of research experience with Lyme and other ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... The American Addiction Treatment Association (AATA) ... in the addiction treatment industry entitled: Special Investigations Unit (SIU) – What ... state and federal governments are increasingly scrutinizing the addiction treatment industry for fraudulent ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... , ... In addition to sticking with the new years ... and use natural alternatives for all house cleaning products, disinfectants, respiratory relief, and ... the new line of essential oils, are all 100% organic and natural. , ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... RICHMOND, Va. (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 ... ... Richmond with a different approach to addiction recovery at a time when Virginia ... 1,420 deaths resulting from drug overdose, a staggering increase of 38 percent from ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/6/2017)...  Medical professionals are expected to continuously ... their patients. Medical simulations offer clinicians the ... Simulation provides a safe method for teaching ... refine techniques and build confidence, without putting ... such as augmented reality, will now provide ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... 5, 2017  Xyntek Inc. has announced another milestone in their continued growth ... to meet the growing demands of customer engagements regionally.  ... Xyntek's new Midwest office is located at 318 West Adams Street, Suite ... Xyntek's ... ...
(Date:9/1/2017)... , Sept. 1, 2017  Explorers Like Us ( https://explorerslikeus.com/ ... greatest aural experiences — and deliver these experiences as part ... help people feel and heal better. ... While nothing beats a walk, jog ... your mind, Life Environments™ is the next best thing when ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: