A new mode of growth for Streptomyces bacteria enables exploration of environments

A new mode of growth for Streptomyces bacteria enables exploration of environments
 
Streptomyces are complex bacteria renowned for their ability to produce medicinally useful compounds, and it has always been thought that Streptomyces are stationary organisms, rooted in place like plants. Recent work by Dr. Marie Elliot and PhD student Stephanie Jones in the Department of Biology has found that when Streptomyces are co-cultured with yeast, these bacteria use a previously unobserved mode of growth to move and explore their environment. This exploratory growth is associated with alkaline conditions, and can be communicated to other nearby Streptomyces species through airborne compounds.

Third Titan Arum about to bloom

The titan arum flowering is one of the extremes of the natural world, with a massive bloom that lasts only a week. On the first day, it is wide open and smells of rotting meat to attract its fly and carrion beetle pollinators. In 2014, the Biology greenhouse bought 3 large titan arum corms. Two of them, Phoebe and Magnus,  bloomed in 2015, while the third produced a single massive leaf. This third titan arum is about to bloom for the first time.

 

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