Biologists shed light on the mystery of how bacteria grow and adapt to homeowners

Samples of the clover Medicago truncatula were given a primer of two strains of Ensifer meliloti nitrogen-fixing bacteria to find out what happens to the bacteria when combined with the same server for several generations. Loan: Bill Cole

Era: COVID-19: The need to անալու wash your hands constantly և to clean things has brought bacteria to a new level of control, particularly for their impact on an individual’s health.

Although the links between germs and their hosts have long been known, from the beneficial probiotics in yogurt to the harmful ones, such as viruses spread by touch, little is known about how bacteria grow and how evolution affects their health. hosts:

Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found that as bacteria grow and adapt to their unique offspring, they become less useful to other genotypes.

Medicago Truncatula plant

Samples of the clover Medicago truncatula were given a primer of two strains of Ensifer meliloti nitrogen-fixing bacteria to find out what happens to the bacteria when combined with the same server for several generations. Loan: Bill Cole

The findings suggest that there is probably no single universally healthy microbiome. Instead, transplanted germs may need time to adjust to the new host before they can be used.

“There is this prevailing idea that ‘strongest survival’ means that individuals should receive the benefits offered by others without reciprocity,” said Megan Frederickson, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Science:“We found that over time, the microbes adapted better to their hosts through more than less collaboration.”

Researchers led by Frederickson’s lead author, Rebecca Butstone, a graduate of Frederickson Labs and now in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have begun to study what happens to microbes when they mate with a couple.

Their first step was to grow several hundred specimens of the medicinal plant Medicago truncatula in a greenhouse, giving each of them a pre-mix of two strains of Ensifer meliloti nitrogen-fixing bacteria. They then planted new seeds in the same pots, repeating the process for a total of five plant generations.

A year later, researchers planted a new batch of plants in a cage, testing the germs on them, mixing them, matching different germs to different hosts. They compared how well the plants grew, how many units were formed when they were given the original or developed bacteria, and when they were given the bacteria that developed on different hosts.

Finally, the researchers sorted all the genomes of the original և developed bacteria to see how they differed genetically.

“When we returned the germs to the hosts from the beginning to the end of the experiment, we found that they were best with the same offspring on which they developed, suggesting that they adapt to their local host,” Butstone said. “The resulting germs were more useful when they shared an evolutionary story with their host.”

Researchers say the discovery suggests that evolution may be conducive to collaboration, that scientists can use experimental evolution in the laboratory to make bacteria that benefit their host more.

“When plants or even animals come into new environments, perhaps as invasive species or because they respond to changing climates, the bacteria they encounter may be poor partners in the first place. “But those germs can adapt quickly and develop more beneficial relationships,” Frederickson said.

Reference. “Experimental evolution of bacteria interacts more closely with their local host genotype” by Rebecca T. Batstone, Anna M. O’Brien, Tia L. Harrison և Megan E. Frederickson, October 23, 2020 Science:,
DOI: 10.1126 / science.abb7222:

The study was supported by the Canadian Council on Natural Sciences, Engineering Research, and the University of Toronto.

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