Cells are social, and self-recognition is a critical aspect of group behavior as cells assist kin and antagonize non-kin in foraging for food and forming biofilms.
Recently, scientists discovered that cells can distinguish themselves from closely related competitors through the use of a virus, and the harboring of phage in bacterial genomes benefits host cells when facing competitors in the environment. These findings were published in Cell Reports on April 16.
The study was conducted by a group led by Prof. WANG Xiaoxue at the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology (SCSIO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Prof. Thomas Wood at Pennsylvania State University in the United States.
Researchers found that a boundary (demarcation line) was formed due to phage lysis between different swimming Escherichia coli strains but not between identical clones; hence, motile bacterial cells discriminated between self and non-self.
The basis for this self-recognition is a novel, 49 kb, T1-type, lytic phage of the family Siphoviridae (named SW1) that controls formation of the demarcation line by utilizing one of the host's cryptic prophage proteins, YfdM of CPS-53, to propagate.
SW1 provides a conditional benefit to E. coli K-12 compared to the identical strain that lacks the phage. A demarcation line also forms when strains harbor either the lysogenic phage φ80 or lambda and encounter siblings that lack the lysogen.
Thus, the relationship between a virus and its cellular host should be re-evaluated since a viral infection is sometimes beneficial.
A bacterial cell infected by a lytic phage may have conditional benefits absent in siblings that lack the phage. In addition, these benefits rely on the infected strain utilizing the tools it obtained from a very ancient enemy, a cryptic prophage.
WANG Xiaoxue | EurekAlert!
Dissolving protein traffic jam at the entrance of mitochondria
23.05.2019 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Producing tissue and organs through lithography
23.05.2019 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells
The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
23.05.2019 | Life Sciences
22.05.2019 | Life Sciences
22.05.2019 | Life Sciences