Researchers say, 'Challenge to the concept of bacterial cells,' where you can find giant bacteria with a length of more than 1 cm, which is 'Everest when compared to human height.'
Many people have the image that cells and bacteria can only be seen by looking through a high-precision microscope. A bacterium that was so large that it could be seen with the naked eye was found that overturned such an image. Scientists say that the discovery, which is more than 50 times the size of known giant bacteria and is the largest single-celled bacterium ever, 'questions the concept of bacterial cells.'
A centimeter-long bacterium with DNA contained in metabolically active, membrane-bound organelles
Giant Bacteria – 5,000 Times Bigger Than Normal – Discovered in Guadeloupe Mangroves
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A research team led by Jean-Marie Voland, a biologist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States, discovered the discovery of Candidatus Thiomargarita magnifica, a unicellular bacterium that is over 1 cm in length. I reported in. Candidatus is a tentative name given to unicellular organisms that have not yet been successfully cultivated. Thiomargarita is a bacterium of the genus Thiomargarita, and magnifica means 'magnificent' in Latin.
Most bacteria are about 2 microns in diameter (1 micron is 1/1000 mm), and even the largest one is about 750 microns, while the newly discovered Thiomargarita magnifica has an average length of 9000 microns. It is said that it is as large as 9 mm.
About this bacterium, which is more than 50 times larger than the known giant bacterium and can be seen with the naked eye, Voland said, 'It is thousands of times larger than a normal-sized bacterium. Finding this bacterium is the same as Mount Everest. It's like encountering a tall person. '
If you play the video below, you can see the Thiomargarita magnifica that you can see with the naked eye.
Giant Bacteria Discovered in the Mangroves-YouTube
Thiomargarita magnifica is a Guadeloupe located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean Sea, collected from the leaves of red mangroves.
This white hair-like thing is Thiomargarita magnifica, and long ones can exceed 1 cm.
Compared to a dime with a diameter of about 1.8 cm, it looks like this.
In fact, Thiomargarita magnifica itself was discovered in 2009 by Olivier Gros, a biologist at the University of the French West in Guadeloupe. However, because it was too large and had a membrane-like structure that encloses genes, it was thought to be a eukaryote to which complex multicellular organisms such as animals and plants belong.
However, subsequent detailed studies revealed that it was actually a prokaryote , and it was concluded that Thiomargarita magnifica was one giant unicellular organism.
In prokaryotes, genes are usually present in cells as they are. However, Thiomargarita magnifica is wrapped in a membrane named 'pepin' by the research team, which disperses and protects genes that are three times as large as normal bacteria.
'It seems that these characteristics allow Thiomargarita magnifica to grow to an unusual size and avoid the physical and energetic constraints that pose a problem in the process,' said Voland. Said.