Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A sweet bacterium keeps track of time

18.11.2014

Researchers unravel the mystery of a sugar-coated bacterium

Researchers are studying the Caulobacter crescentus bacterium because of its developmental process and cellular cycle, which serve as models for a number of pathogenic bacteria.


Caulobacter crescentus's cellular division produces different daughter cells, some with capsules (black cells) and some without (red cells).

Credit: ©Ardissone_et_al, University of Geneva

They all have in common the use of polysaccharides to create a particularly effective protective envelope, or capsule. Professor Viollier's laboratory at the University of Geneva's (UNIGE) Faculty of Medicine has just unraveled the secrets of capsule formation during the cellular cycle and perhaps even identified potential Achilles' heel of bacteria. These results were published in the last edition of the eLife journal.

Silvia Ardissone, researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine at UNIGE's Faculty of Medicine, works with Caulobacter crescentus, a bacterium that shows a particularly interesting cell division.

In fact, as with eukaryotic organisms, division of Caulobacter cells generates two different daughter cells, which can be easily separated. Researchers take advantage of this feature to obtain populations of synchronized bacteria that can be used to study specific cell cycle processes.

The sugar capsule, typical of pathogens

Like other bacteria, including several pathogenic species, Caulobacter crescentus presents a capsular envelope made of polysaccharides (sugars). This envelope protects bacteria from viruses, as well as from the human immune system. Professor Patrick Viollier's team studies how cells produce the capsule at the right time and just identified some of the underlying regulatory mechanisms.

One of the daughter cells lacks the capsule

Of the two different daughter cells generated by Caulobacter at each cell division only one is equipped with the capsule. This is what scientists noticed, and now they can now explain the reasons behind such a difference. In fact, the researchers showed that the synthesis of the capsule is controlled by the same mechanisms that regulate the cell cycle, and identified the protein that inhibits the production of the sugar capsule in one of the daughter cells.

"An uncharted path seems to have opened for the development of a new kind of antibiotics, products that would imitate the action of this inhibitory protein," comments Silvia Ardissone, who also imagines a type of medicine that "would strip the pathogens," and therefore disarm an entire bacteriological spectrum.

Silvia Ardissone | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unige.ch/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>