Finally,finally, science has given the world the thing we’ve all been waiting for: heart-shaped bacteria.
And not just heart-shaped bacteria, but also cube-, pentagon-, star-, triangle-, and cross-shaped bacteria! Were we able to fill a bowl with these sculpted bacteria, it would no doubt be magically delicious.
Why, you may ask, bother to grow heart-shaped bacteria? To which I answer, why not?? Can’t science just let its hair down every now and then and party? But the scientists who cooked up this crazy scheme at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, whosework was published last month inNature Communications, did, in fact, have some actual scientific questions they hoped to answer. And they even got some answers.
The questions revolved around cell division. When rod-shaped bacteria likeE. colidivide, a ring of proteins accumulate at the bacterial equator and rotates around it (the scientists called this “treadmilling”). This ring guides the growth of the new cell walls that will divide one cell into two.
Inspired in part bycubic watermelons，他们想知道：这个环的施工和操作是否依赖于圆形细胞横截面？或者是一个方形细胞或心形细胞或星形细胞物理扰乱其操作？
The spaces these molds offered were larger than the volume of a normal rod-shaped bacterium, so the shaped bacteria ended up being larger than normal as well.
But no matter what tight, sharp corners or weird angles they threw at the Z-ring, as the division proteins are known, they still formed at the bacterial equator and appeared to treadmill around it normally (although in the case of heart-shaped bacteria, about 20% only had half a Z-ring for reasons that remain unclear).
这个结果是每haps unsurprising. These are not the first oddly-shaped bacteria in the world. Naturally star-shaped bacteriaactually exist, and the range of other natural bacterial forms is astounding (see the illuminating Fig. 1 here）。它还众所周知，在自然细菌中可以使它们的形状适应其环境的要求，在扭曲的情况下划分，然后在压力源间隔后恢复到正常形状。bet188备网
Of course, this revolutionary breakthrough also makes possible another thing we’ve all been waiting for -- bacterialconversation hearts:
LET’S DO BIOFILM
HOLD MY PILUS
and of course
Söderström, Bill, Alexander Badrutdinov, Helena Chan, and Ulf Skoglund. "细胞形状无关的综合改造细菌细胞的FTSZ动力学."Nature Communications9, no. 1 (2018): 4323.