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The largest bacteria in the world are found in the Caribbean

The largest bacteria in the world are found in the Caribbean

Washington. Scientists have discovered the world’s largest bacteria in a mangrove swamp in the Caribbean.

Most bacteria are microscopic, but these bacteria are too large to be seen with the naked eye.

Thin white strands and eyelash length “It is by far the largest bacteria known to date”Marine biologist Jean-Marie Voland of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-author of a scientific paper announcing the discovery Thursday in the journal Science said.

Olivier Gros, co-author and biologist at the University of the French West Indies and Guyana, has found the first sample of bacteria –It is called thiomargarita magnifica, or “the magnificent pearl of sulfur”– commit to Sunken leaves of mangroves in the Guadalupe Archipelago in 2009.

But he didn’t know at the time that it was a bacterium due to its impressive size: these bacteria average 9 mm (one-third of an inch). The organism was identified as only one bacterial cell after its genetic analysis.

“This is an amazing discovery,” said Petra Lewin, a microbiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, who was not involved in the study. “It raises the question of how many giant bacteria there are like these, and reminds us that bacteria should never be underestimated.”.

Gross also found these giant bacteria attached to oyster shells, stones, and glass bottles in the swamp.

Scientists haven’t grown it in a lab yet, but researchers say the cell has an unusual structure in bacteria. One fundamental difference is that it has a large central compartment, or vacuole, which allows certain cellular functions to be carried out in that controlled environment, rather than throughout the cell..

“Developing this large central gap certainly helps the cell to get beyond the physical limitations … about the size of a cell that can be,” said Manuel Campos, a biologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, who was not involved in the study.

The researchers said they aren’t sure why the bacteria are so big, but co-author Voland hypothesizes that it could be an adaptation to prevent small organisms from ingesting it.

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