Bacteria evolved over millions of years and formed many strange characteristics.
Scientists at Oxford University (UK) have observed one of these characteristics. They discovered that bacteria can kill themselves in the interest of the whole population !
Bacteria are ferocious microorganisms that know how to destroy and blockade their opponents. One of the extreme strategies is that bacterial cells automatically decay and die, on which occasion release a large amount of toxins to kill other bacterial strains. Scientists have known this mechanism, but so far no one knows that many types of bacteria have the ability to kill themselves to protect bacterial populations.
Most bacteria are capable of committing suicide to attack an enemy's total force.
Recent studies show that bacterial "suicide" behaviors are quite common . In the case of the "battlefield" , most bacteria have the ability to kill themselves to attack an enemy.
Suicide is a rare phenomenon in the natural world, so scientists find it difficult to understand the evolutionary path of suicidal behavior. However, recent research confirms that millions of bacteria can simultaneously "give life " to the good of the population.
Scientists have observed the behavior of Escherichia coli bacteria in human intestines. As it turns out, these microorganisms behave like some groups of insects live in colonies. Bees and ants also have the ability to "give life" and perform attacks on intruders on a large scale. During that fight, many insect individuals died.
Dr. Elisa Granato at Oxford University said the amount of bacteria involved in suicide attacks was "very surprising". "Our study explains why this is happening. Bacteria can kill themselves in situations where the enemy will also die from bacterial toxins. This behavior is like an attack." suicide bomb "aimed at destroying the enemy" - Dr. Granato said.
Using 3-dimensional fluorescence microscopy technology, scientists have observed a "bacterial battlefield" in the laboratory. This new technology helps them to mark (in different colors) the cells involved in suicide attacks. Thanks to this, they can track individual bacteria on the "front line of defense" in the fight with other competing bacterial strains.
"Bacteria can be dangerous pathogens, as well as being able to coexist with other microorganisms. Therefore, from the results of their" wars ", it is possible to know the health status of host of bacteria that live in. Studying "bacterial wars" can help us "push" germs out of our body and receive "friendly" bacteria, Professor Kevin Foster , co-author of the study, said.
The results of the "bacterial war" can be used in developing effective therapies for infection.