Jean-Marie Volland and the Thiomargarita BacteriaRecently‚ scientists at the Joint Genome Institute have discovered a new giant bacterium that is thousands of times larger than ordinary bacteria. Lead author and marine biologist Jean-Marie Volland has been working with Berkeley Lab and LRC Systems to understand these new bacteria. Originally‚ Volland first became involved with the giant Thiomargarita bacteria while a postdoc. In order to continue her work on the project‚ Volland applied for a discovery-based position at LRC Systems.
To see bacteria you'd need a microscope‚ isn't it? Thiomargarita magnifica. The size and form of this giant cell can be clearly seen to the naked eye. Now declared the largest bacterium in the world. T. magnifica he was found living in sunken and decaying leaves of mangrove trees in the French Caribbean. The organism can't cause any disease and isn't dangerous‚ so don’t be afraid. Its size is amazing. This bacteria is about five times more than other bacteria. To put it in perspective‚ this is how we humans would meet another person who was as tall as Mount Everest. Jean-Marie Volland‚ from the Joint Genome Institute‚ Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory‚ the US‚ stated that. Scale graphic Centimetre-long T. magnifica It isn't the biggest single-celled organism in Earth. This is probably an aquatic alga. Caulerpa taxifolia Nevertheless‚ it is still 10 times more. The bacterium's impressive feat is even more remarkable when one considers the many complex forms of life on Earth‚ which require magnification. Consider the tiny flies and worms out there. T. magnifica It was discovered for the first time in Guadeloupe in 2009. It was originally put aside. It was only recently that Dr Volland‚ along with his colleagues‚ began to study it more closely. Their research revealed one key insight about how cells organise their interior. Bacteria normally has their DNA free to move in the liquid (or cytoplasm) that surrounds them. T. magnificaOn the other side‚ storing its genetic material in containers the researchers call pepins (from the French for fruit seed seeds) is what. This is a major breakthrough because it was previously thought that the preservation of DNA in a membrane-bound compartment was the preserve of so called eukaryotic cell‚ which are higher organisms like humans and other animals. T. magnifica uses the decomposing matter found in sediments surrounding the mangrove roots to its advantage And T. magnifica There is a lot DNA in the body. There are approximately 12 million letters and bases in the genome's life code. There may even be half a billion copies of the genome in every cell. Now‚ take 12 million base genomes and multiply it by half a million genome copies. You will get approximately 6‚600 giga (or billion) bases of DNA. A diploid genome of a human being is six giga base in size. This means our Thiomargarita According to Dr Tanja Woyke (also from Lawrence Berkeley)‚ the human body stores many orders of magnitude more DNA than a cell made up of cells. She said that all of this DNA contains clues about the driving forces behind organisms large size.
Some genes that are associated with elongation appear to have been duplicated‚ while others involved in division seem to be missing. T. magnifica filament is the same size and shape as a normal human eyelash. T. magnifica It is a chemosynthetic bacteria. The oxidisation of sulphur compounds in mangrove swamp sediments gives it the energy to make sugars. It only needs something to hold on to. Professor Olivier Gros of the University of the Antilles‚ who is a microbiologist‚ stated that I discovered them attached to oyster shells and leaves‚ as well as plastic bottles and ropes. To get CO2 and oxygen‚ they only need to contact the sulphides with a hard substrate. This is the highest level of Thiomargarita It was in a plastic bag‚ unfortunately. Researchers have published their description of the bacteria in science magazine's latest edition is available in this week's issue Researchers admit that they still have much to discover about the biology of this organism. The project really helped us to see the vast microbial diversity. The surface is only scratched‚ but who knows what new and exciting things are still to be discovered‚ said Dr Shailesh Datum from Menlo Park's Laboratory for Research in Complex Systems. Mangroves in the Caribbean provide the ideal environment for giant bacteria.