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Large Bacterium Visible to the Naked Eye Found in Mangroves of France | 2YODOINDIA

Large Bacterium Visible to the Naked Eye Found in Mangroves of France

Scientists have discover the largest bacterium that is 5,000 times larger than most known bacteria and is even visible to the naked eye.

The organism, Thiomargarita magnifica, appears as thin white filaments measuring roughly 1 cm in length.

It was discover by Olivier Gros, a marine biology professor at the Universite des Antilles in Guadeloupe, in 2009.

Olivier Gros was carrying out a research on the marine mangrove systems when he stumble upon the unusually big bacterium in Guadeloupe, France.

It was spot on the surfaces of decaying mangrove leaves in the region.

The bacterium was analyse in labs and microscopic studies were undertaken over the years to conclude that it was a sulphur-oxidising prokaryote.

Olivier Gros Said :

“When I saw them, I thought, ‘Strange’. In the beginning, I thought it was just something curious, some white filaments that needed to be attach to something in the sediment like a leaf,”.

Silvina Gonzalez-Rizzo, an associate professor of molecular biology at the Universite des Antilles and co-first author of the new study publish in Science, also perform the 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify the organism.

A team of researchers from the JGI and Berkeley Lab, LRC, and Université des Antilles in Guadeloupe among many others, describe the big bacterium and shed light on its genomic features.

Silvina Gonzalez-Rizzo said that initially, she thought the organisms were eukaryotes as they were too big and had a lot of filaments.

Silvina Gonzalez-Rizzo added after identifying the bacteria :

“We realize they were unique because it look like a single cell. The fact that they were a ‘macro’ microbe was fascinating!”.

According to Jean-Marie Volland, scientists and co-author of the study, while most of the bacteria have their DNA floating freely in the cytoplasm, the discover bacterium had kept them organise.

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Silvina Gonzalez-Rizzo Said :

“The big surprise of the project was to realize that these genome copies that are spread throughout the whole cell are actually contain within a structure that has a membrane,”.

It was learnt that the bacteria had three times more genes than most known bacterium.

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