Bacteria harness viruses to distinguish friend from foe
April 16, 2019
Summary- Researchers have discovered that bacteria found in the gut use a virus to self-recognize using the virus to self identify. Thomas Wood of Pennsylvania State University one of the senior authors found a demarcation line was formed when Escherichia coli K-12 strains were near each other, but not when identical clones were near each other. They found that prophage CPS-53 and one of its proteins, YfdM, were required for the demarcation line and that CPS-53 is essentially inactive in cell lysis and phage-particle production causing them to believe this was the reason for the difference.
connection- We have discussed bacteria and viruses in detail throughout the semester. I thought it was interesting how the viruses that attack these bacteria are being used to keep itself safe and recognize itself.
critical analysis- I thought the subject was very interesting and was something that had not been discussed previously. I did think the article was written for people with a scientific background and that some of the details would be unknown to someone without some microbiology background.
quesiton- Are there other bacteria in the body that use this same technique?