Wednesday 30 August 2023

New species of marine bacteria that multiplies by a unique budding mechanism


The image shows Poriferisphaera hetertotrophicis, observed using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Image credit: Rikuan Zheng (CC BY 4.0)

Researchers have isolated a new strain of marine bacteria with unique characteristics from the ocean seabed. The bacterium multiplies by a unique budding mechanism and releases viruses to facilitate nitrogen metabolism.

The research advances scientific understanding of physiological mechanisms in deep-sea Planctomycetes bacteria, revealing unique characteristics such as being the only known species in the class of Phycisphaerae bacteria that uses a distinct budding model of division. 

Planctomycetes bacteria have blurred the lines between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. 


Planctomycetes bacteria possess several uncommon traits: a compartmentalized cell plan, an enlarged periplasm, a tightly folded nucleus-like structure, an endocytosis-like method of uptake, and a FtsZ-free method of cell division

The research provides convincing evidence that the new species is extensively involved in nitrogen assimilation and lives with a chronic virus (bacteriophage) that facilitates nitrogen metabolism. This bacteriophage – called phage-ZRK32 – was able to increase the growth of themarine bacterium dramatically by facilitating nitrogen metabolism.

Nitrogen cycling by bacteria is an essential process that frees up nitrogen for building into nucleic acids, amino acids and proteins – the building blocks of life.

The organism was isolated from sediment samples isolated from a deep-sea cold seep. The proposed name for the organism is Poriferisphaera hetertotrophicis.

The research appears in the journal eLife,titled "Physiological and metabolic insights into the first cultured anaerobic representative of deep-sea Planctomycetes bacteria".

[Image key: CM, outer membrane; Pi, cytoplasm; R, ribosome; N, nucleoid; ICM, cytoplasmic membrane; Py, periplasm; V, vesicle-like organelles]

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources

Special offers