Giant Bacterium Uses Unique Processes to Power Itself; Sodium-Motive Force Drives ATP Synthesis and Flagellar Motility

Not all bacteria are created equal. Most are single-celled and tiny, a few ten-thousandths of a centimeter long. But bacteria of the Epulopiscium genus are large enough to be seen with the naked eye and 1 million times the volume of their better-known cousins, E. coli. In a study published December 18, 2023 in PNAS, researchers from Cornell and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have for the first time described the full genome of one species of the genus of giants, which they’ve named Epulopiscium viviparus. The PNAS article is titled “The Exceptional Form and Function of the Giant Bacterium Ca. Epulopiscium viviparus Revolves Around Its Sodium Motive Force.”

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