Phages eavesdrop on bacterial communications to attack at the perfect moment!
Thanks to Justin Silpe and Dr. Bonnie Bassler for their contributions!
Microbe of the episode
Artichoke Aegean ringspot virus
But since this chemical signal is released into the environment, anything around that can sense it can listen in on the communications of a bacterial population. In this study, Justin Silpe and Dr. Bonnie Bassler find a type of virus that uses such a chemical communication as a signal to come out of stasis and hijack a whole population of bacteria at once!
Other interesting stories
- Bacteria around plant roots can affect when they flower (paper)
- Certain respiratory microbe communities seem to protect against flu
- New process for finding better electric bacteria