Bacteria that move like amoeba are found “Discovery that changes the conventional concept” March 25 4:47


A research group at the University of Tsukuba has discovered a bacterium that acts like an amoeba and eats other microorganisms as if swallowed. Bacterial associates have been considered to be unable to make such movements, and are attracting attention as a discovery that changes the conventional concept of bacteria.

Bacteria are known to move using something like hair on the surface, but it is not possible to move or move the whole cell like a more evolved amoeba by moving it or changing its shape significantly It was basically thought impossible.

When a research group by Professor Kenichiro Ishida of the University of Tsukuba was examining microorganisms that live in the South Pacific seawater, he noticed that there were unknown organisms that eat microorganisms such as algae one after another.

Genetic analysis revealed that the organism was a new kind of bacterium, but it was found to have the characteristic of moving while deforming the shape of cells, like an amoeba.

When examining the moment of eating other microorganisms with an electron microscope, it was observed that the central part of the bacteria was hollowed out and taken in like a whole drink.

"I was surprised when I found out that it was a bacterium. It is an interesting discovery that can change the shape of cells in a way that is unknown until now," said Professor Kenichiro Ishida of the University of Tsukuba. I was talking.