Analysis of Predator-Prey Relationship in Bacteria; Predator Myxococcus xanthus Initiates Killing and Nutrient Absorption After Direct Cell-Cell Contact with Its Bacterial Prey

Dr. Cristine Kaimer (l) with grad student Susanne Thiery.

Bacteria have a variety of survival strategies to ensure a sufficient food supply in their densely populated habitats. Certain species of bacteria kill microorganisms of another species, decompose their cells, and absorb them as nutrients. The exact mechanism of this process is largely unknown. A research team from the Chair of Microbial Biology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) headed by Dr. Christine Kaimer (at left in photo with graduate student and lead author Susanne Theiry) has examined these processes in depth. Together with colleagues from the USA, the researchers from RUB presented their findings in Cell Reports of September 13, 2022. The open-access article is titled “The Predatory Soil Bacterium Myxococcus xanthus Combines a Tad- and an Atypical Type 3-Like Protein Secretion System to Kill Bacterial Cells.”

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