Episode Summary

Bacteria living inside soil fungus produce toxins that can protect their host from tiny predators!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Mycobacterium virus DLane

Jesse's takeaways

Soils have many different organisms cooperating and competing for resources. Some little worms called nematodes prey on fungi in the soil, while fungi may effectively defend themselves or strike back with toxins or traps that catch and kill the worms. On top of these interactions are other organisms that interact in various ways. In this study, bacteria living inside a kind of soil fungus produce toxins that defend the fungus against predatory nematodes.

Journal Paper

Büttner H, Niehs SP, Vandelannoote K, Cseresnyés Z, Dose B, Richter I, Gerst R, Figge MT, Stinear TP, Pidot SJ, Hertweck C. 2021. Bacterial endosymbionts protect beneficial soil fungus from nematode attack. Proc Natl Acad Sci 118:e2110669118.

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