Researchers have discovered a fascinating symbiotic relationship between a wasp species and a newly discovered bacterial species – a relationship that potentially sheds light on how bacteria can be successfully utilized by higher organisms in defensive mechanisms against other microbes. In the new work, researchers show that a solitary ground-nesting wasp, the European beewolf, harbors Streptomyces bacteria in unique structures within its antennae and that females utilize these bacterial symbionts to protect the wasp larvae against pathogenic fungi.
Detrimental microorganisms are a permanent threat to higher organisms, and because of their high reproductive potential and adaptability, they are extremely difficult to control. Ironically, the best counteragents against microbes are often other microbes that produce very potent antibiotics. Thus, an effective and elegant way to counter the threat caused by bacteria and fungi is to establish a symbiotic relationship with innocuous antibiotic-producing bacteria that provide protection against the most dangerous pathogens. As yet, only a few cases of defensive symbioses between higher organisms and bacteria have been reported.
In their new paper, Martin Kaltenpoth and his colleagues at the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg show that the European beewolf Philanthus triangulum has evolved a defensive symbiosis with a new species of bacteria of the genus Streptomyces. Interestingly, this genus comprises the most important group of bacteria for the production of antibiotics for human medicine.
Switch-in-a-cell electrifies life
18.12.2018 | Rice University
Plant biologists identify mechanism behind transition from insect to wind pollination
18.12.2018 | University of Toronto
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences