Monday, December 12, 2016

How to Set Up Protozoan Mating Swarm, Bacteria Style

At the University of California, Berkeley, scientists were researching Salpinogoeca rosetta cells when they suddenly began to form mass mating swarms after exposure to an aphrodisiac produced by a bacteria. The bacteria in question that created the aphrodisiac was Vibrio fischeri. The bacterium creates chonodroitin sulfate (CS) lyase, in which is then released as a chemical signal that causes the cells to quickly aggregate and begin cell and nuclear fusion while duplicating and recombining their genetic material. 

According to researchers, Nicole King and Ariel Woznica, this discovery has led to researchers to believe the possibility that environmental bacteria or bacterial symbionts can influence mating in animals as well. Part of the research at Berkeley was exploring the origins of multicelluarlarity. The research was mostly conducted on choanoflagellates such as the S. rosetta cells. Generally, researchers would monitor shared characteristics and behaviors that was common for evolution in animals. Based on the research, scientists have discovered symbiotic and pathogenic relationships between bacteria and multi-cellular animals. This relationship has been dated to even prehistoric times.

With this research, choanoflagelletes can serve as an excellent model organism in order to discover more information regarding the origins of multicelluarlity. By using these organisms, it can have an advantageous adaptation and uses in medicine. Supposedly, researchers can use choanoflagelletes as a means of mass drug production for cures by instilling the gene for the drug. By using bacteria to induce the cells to mass mating, it can cause a rapid supply of drugs based on a natural process within bacteria. This can certainly be very useful in the field of medicine.   

1 comment:

  1. I never knew that protozoans could create an aphrodisiac. I wonder if scientists can manipulate other bacteria to mass produce. It would definitely be interesting to see if they could create more pro-biotic supplements based on this research. I also like how there is a natural process of mating that is happening here. In this way, we do not have to worry about risks since we know exactly what we are making.