Zombie mode: scientists have discovered a new state of bacteria

Despite its seemingly ultimate ease, the bacteria develop very clever coping strategies. For example, they can go to sleep to wait out the danger, or to sacrifice themselves for the sake of his colony. It turned out that in addition to activity and dormancy, bacteria have another condition, resembling the behavior of zombies. It helps them to survive long periods without nutrients, but even to retain the ability to reproduce.

Стратегия выживания бактерий

The essence of open scientists the state of the bacteria is to slow down all taking place in their metabolic processes. On new strategies became known in the course of the study harmless bacteria Bacillus subtilis, which is known to, in extreme circumstances, pass into a dormant state and turn into endospores. Some mutant forms of bacteria are not able to be in peace and quiet — this was the reason for the study of the other possible strategies and open it.

According to biologist Leendert Hamoen, he and his team identified clear differences between active and passive States and the regime of “zombies.” As a rule, Bacillus subtilis have the form of sticks, but it has been observed that hungry mutant variants compressed to almost spherical shape. Everything that happens inside the bacteria processes are slowed down, but not stop before the end. The bacteria continue to multiply, but division occurs not once in forty minutes, and once every four days. That’s hundreds of times slower than usual.

The new state received the name of oligotrophic growth that means growth with low nutrient content. Scientists are very alarmed that in this condition the bacteria less susceptible to antibiotics. If in this state may enter more dangerous germs, it could mean that they are able to use this strategy for defensive purposes. However, if a story has a good side — by examining this condition, researchers will be able to create more effective drugs.

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