Image courtesy: Copyright © 2020 Charubin et al., This content is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Article Writer-   Minakshi  Kumari, MSc. Biotechnology, RCA, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur, Rajsthan(India)

t o date, we always believed that each and every bacteria has its own independent identity and machinery. But, investigators at the University of Delaware (UD)  have demonstrated the interspecies microbial fusion. They studied the interactions between Clostridium ljungdahlii and C. acetobutylicum. These bacteria work in synergy and produce metabolites that are mutually beneficial to each other’s survival. They observed, using Transmission Electron Microscopy,  and electron tomography, that the two organisms combined their cell walls and membranes along with the exchange of RNA and proteins resulting in a hybrid cell. Hybrid cells,  identified by the presence of stained proteins from both organisms, formed had the capability of the division and differentiation. The extent and dynamic persistence of these interactions has been studied using flow cytometry.

There is a possibility of the existence of many bacterial pairs in nature.  The reason behind the fusion of bacteria is that it increases the survival potential under adverse conditions. And, this is why some bacteria are difficult to culture In-vitro.

This current finding will help to understand the evolution of biology and solving the growing problems of antibiotic resistance amongst bacteria.

Journal Reference: 

Charubin K, Modla S, Caplan JL, Papoutsakis ET. Interspecies Microbial Fusion and Large-Scale Exchange of Cytoplasmic Proteins and RNA in a Syntrophic Clostridium Coculture. mBio. 2020;11(5):e02030-20. Published 2020 Sep 1. doi:10.1128/mBio.02030-20