March 25, 2023

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Scientists have discovered a giant bacterium that is visible to the naked eye

A team of scientists has discovered a macroscopic species of bacteria that lives in Guadeloupe water. Caribbean. The newly discovered species is called Theomargarita magnifica, and its unique cells are visible to the naked eye, according to a study published in the journal. Science.

According to the researchers, the cells of most bacterial species are about 2 micrometers long and some large ones reach 750 micrometers. However, the average cell length of Theomargarita magnifica is more than 9000 micrometers. It is 5,000 times larger than other species and can be picked up by tweezers.

Credit: Thomas Timel / Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryThe filaments of the giant bacterium next to a coin

In addition, T. magnifica shows more complex symptoms in bacteria. Instead of floating in your DNA cell, your genetic information is hidden inside membrane-binding systems like humans.

5 thousand times larger

Jean-Marie Woland, a marine biologist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Complex Systems Laboratory in California, said: “The bacteria we found were approximately the shape and size of cilia, but it was a bacterial cell.” Review at the press conference.

“These bacteria are 5,000 times larger than most bacteria,” Woland said. “To put things forward, it is equivalent for us humans to find another man as tall as Mount Everest.”

Thanks to “three-dimensional microscopic analysis” and very high magnification, the researchers were able to obtain an image of the bacteria.

Giant bacteria

Credit: Jean-Marie Volland Bacteria T. magnifica

The research team sorted and analyzed the genome of T. magnifica and revealed how the bacterium reproduces: one end of the elongated bacterium shrinks and the T. magnifica cell divides into two.

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Genetic analysis The bacterium contains an extensive gene – about 12 million basic pairs, about twice the length of some related bacterial genes.