Navigation Links
Like humans, amoebae pack a lunch before they travel
Date:1/19/2011

Some amoebae do what many people do. Before they travel, they pack a lunch.

In results of a study reported today in the journal Nature, evolutionary biologists Joan Strassmann and David Queller of Rice University show that long-studied social amoebae Dictyostellum discoideum (commonly known as slime molds) increase their odds of survival through a rudimentary form of agriculture.

Research by lead author Debra Brock, a graduate student at Rice, found that some amoebae sequester their food--particular strains of bacteria--for later use.

"We now know that primitively social slime molds have genetic variation in their ability to farm beneficial bacteria as a food source," says George Gilchrist, program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research. "But the catch is that with the benefits of a portable food source, comes the cost of harboring harmful bacteria."

After these "farmer" amoebae aggregate into a slug, they migrate in search of nourishment--and form a fruiting body, or a stalk of dead amoebae topped by a sorus, a structure containing fertile spores. Then they release the bacteria-containing spores to the environment as feedstock for continued growth.

The findings run counter to the presumption that all "Dicty" eat everything in sight before they enter the social spore-forming stage.

Non-farmer amoebae do eat everything, but farmers were found to leave food uneaten, and their slugs don't travel as far.

Perhaps because they don't have to.

The advantages of going hungry now to ensure a good food supply later are clear, as farmers are able to thrive in environments in which non-farmers find little food.

The researchers found that about a third of wild-collected Dicty are farmers.

Instead of consuming all the bacteria they encounter, these amoebae eat less and incorporate bacteria into their migratory systems.

Brock showed that carrying bacteria is a genetic trait by eliminating all living bacteria from four farmers and four non-farmers--the control group--by treating them with antibiotics.

All amoebae were grown on dead bacteria; tests confirmed that they were free of live bacteria.

When the eight clones were then fed live bacteria, the farmers all regained their abilities to seed bacteria colonies, while the non-farmers did not.

Dicty farmers are always farmers; non-farmers never learn.

Rice graduate student Tracy Douglas co-authored the paper with Brock, Queller and Strassmann. She confirmed that farmers and non-farmers belong to the same species and do not form a distinct evolved group.

Still, mysteries remain.

The researchers want to know what genetic differences separate farmers from non-farmers. They also wonder why farmer clones don't migrate as far as their counterparts.

It might be a consequence of bacterial interference, they say, or an evolved response, since farmers carry the seeds of their own food supply and don't need to go as far.

Also, some seemingly useless or even harmful bacteria are not consumed as food, but may serve an as-yet-undetermined function, Brock says.

That has implications for treating disease as it may, for instance, provide clues to the way tuberculosis bacteria invade cells, says Strassmann, infecting the host while resisting attempts to break them down.

The results demonstrate the importance of working in natural environments with wild organisms whose complex ties to their living environment have not been broken.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. U.S. Aims to Make School Lunches Healthier
2. No Scientific Proof Backing Stricter Tests of Ground Beef in School Lunches
3. Kids' Lunchboxes Go Bento for Easy Back to School Lunch Making, Thanks to Laptop Lunches
4. Boston Children's Museum Lunch & Learn Lecture Series
5. The SASH Program Hosts 5th Annual Springtime Luncheon for Elder Care Community
6. City Harvest Food Council Chefs Meet With Harlem Students For Lunch & Travel to Washington to Ask Congress to Invest in Child Nutrition
7. ReNew Life Online Scavenger Hunt to Award Grand Prize Trip to Florida, Lunch with Brenda Watson
8. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Companies To Host Fourth Annual National Walk@Lunch Day(R) on April 28, 2010
9. Jamba Juice Unveils All Fruit Smoothie School Lunch Program
10. Breast Cancer Radiation Before 1984 Tied to Heart Disease
11. Room light before bedtime may impact sleep quality, blood pressure and diabetes risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Like humans, amoebae pack a lunch before they travel
(Date:7/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... insurance assistance and financial planning services to communities in the greater Birmingham area, ... to provide resources to underprivileged young people in the region. , The Chris ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... ... Bernard R. Bach, Jr., MD, orthopaedic surgeon at Rush University Medical Center ... Medicine (AOSSM) , received the 2017 Robert E. Leach Sports Medicine Leadership award on ... award is given annually to honor those who have made a significant contribution to ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... , ... “Kids aren't born knowing how to regulate their emotions any more ... of St. Louis-based positive education company Generation Mindful. To help with that daunting task, ... , The kit uses colorful, engaging and educational illustrations and games to teach ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... CANADA (PRWEB) , ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... insight into why concussion rates are on the rise, say researchers presenting their ... today in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , “The combination of evaluating the patterns of ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... law firm headquartered in Houston, is pleased to announce their expansion to the ... affordable housing experience, directors Alysse Hollis and Ronald Bell, and of counsels, John ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/10/2017)... , July 10, 2017 Locus Biosciences ... Note to support the development of CRISPR-Cas3 antimicrobial therapeutics. ... Limited, a leading Chinese Internet services provider, and joined ... advance multiple infectious disease product programs targeting antibiotic resistant ... Founded by Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou ...
(Date:7/5/2017)... --  BioLife Solutions , Inc. (NASDAQ: BLFS ... clinical grade cell and tissue hypothermic storage ... that it has reached an agreement with WAVI Holding ... modify its existing credit facility effective June 30, 2017. ... to exchange its existing $4.25 million credit facility, including ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (Nasdaq: ... in the development of cannabinoid-based drugs, today announced that ... Bell in New York, NY ... initial public offering (IPO) of American Depository Shares (ADSs) ... Dr. Elran Haber, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: