Spores of some bacteria latch onto the tails of other bacteria and ride along as they move around in the soil!
Microbe of the episode
Microbe of the episode: Bohle iridovirus
The soil is a complex environment, and microbes that live in soil need complex lifestyles to thrive. There are many examples of cooperation, competition, and other adaptations to highly varied situations.
In this study, bacteria that grow like filamentous fungi don't have the mechanisms to move autonomously, but their spores can hitch rides on other kinds of bacteria that swarm through the soil using their propeller-like tails called flagella to push themselves toward the plant roots they prefer to grow near.
Muok AR, Claessen D, Briegel A. 2021. Microbial hitchhiking: how Streptomyces spores are transported by motile soil bacteria. ISME J.
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