Astonishing Complexity of Bacterial Circadian Clocks

Bacteria make up more than 10% of all living things but until recently we had little realization that, as in humans, soil bacteria have internal clocks that synchronize their activities with the 24-hour cycles of day and night on Earth. New research shows just how complex and sophisticated these bacterial circadian clocks are, clearing the way for an exciting new phase of study. This work will provide diverse opportunities, from precision timing of the use of antibiotics, to bioengineering smarter gut and soil microbiomes. An international collaboration from Ludwig Maximillian University Munich (LMU Munich), The John Innes Centre, The Technical University of Denmark, and Leiden University, made the discovery by probing gene expression as evidence of clock activity in the widespread soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis.

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