Episode Summary

Bacteria pay for the privilege of cruising around soil on fungus filaments!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Clostridium acetobutylicum

Jesse's takeaways

In the complex environment of soil, many different kinds of organisms coexist. Some compete with each other, while others cooperate in fascinating interactions. One example is how bacteria can swim through a film of water surrounding the filaments of fungi, allowing them to traverse more quickly and reach new locations.
In this study, an interaction between fungus and bacterium is discovered in which the bacteria benefit from the fungus in enhanced ability to travel, and the fungus benefits by absorbing vitamins that the bacteria produce.

Journal Paper

Abeysinghe G, Kuchira M, Kudo G, Masuo S, Ninomiya A, Takahashi K, Utada AS, Hagiwara D, Nomura N, Takaya N, Obana N, Takeshita N. 2020. Fungal mycelia and bacterial thiamine establish a mutualistic growth mechanism. Life Sci Alliance 3(12):202000878.

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Porous interior of bone