Microbes in the News 3rd Post

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?


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