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Bacterial evolution: A soil bacterium types multicellular organisms with specialised roles

A kind of Streptomyces bacterium that lives in soil types multicellular buildings by which some bacterial cells have specialised roles, just like the cells of advanced organisms – and a pc mannequin suggests how this phenomenon developed



Life



11 May 2022

Colony of Streptomyces coelicolor

A colony of Streptomyces coelicolor micro organism

WIM VAN EGMOND/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

In the multicellular soil bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor, some cells begin producing a lot of antibiotics after mutations delete large chunks of their genomes. Now a pc mannequin has helped to verify that that is no accident however an developed mechanism for dividing labour amongst cells in a colony.

“With Streptomyces, permanent differentiation happens by breaking the genome,” says Enrico Sandro Colizzi on the University of Cambridge.

While definitions differ on what makes an organism multicellular, for a lot of biologists it isn’t merely about having a lot of cells, …

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