Japan grows mysterious single-celled microbe

January 19 (UPI) — A team of Japanese scientists has finally used deep-sea sediments to grow a mysterious single-celled microbe using deep-sea sediments, and the team has since characterized it, according to a new study published in the British journal Nature. This unusual microbe will help humans reveal the origins of complex eukaryotes. The ancient bacteria make up a single-cell protonuclear biosphere, the newly discovered Asgard ancient bacteria, believed to be the ancestors of more complex eukaryotes. But so far, our understanding of asgard paleontology has been limited to DNA research, which shows the presence of eukaryotic cell-like genes.

Japan grows mysterious single-celled microbe

Part of the research team’s culture process. Photo: Nature website

此次,日本海洋研究开发机构科学家井町宽之,以及日本产业技术综合研究所科学家延优等人,经过十年的努力,分离并培养了一种阿斯加德古菌。研究小组从日本海岸的大峰脊深处收集了淤泥,之后将样本放入充满甲烷的特制生物反应器里培养。

After 2,000 days, they isolated a mixture of microbes and, over the years, were further enriched to obtain live cultures of Asgard’s bacteria. They named the microbe “Prometheoarchaeum syntrophicum”, which originated from the Greek mythical god “Prometheus”.

Studies have shown that “P.syntrophicum” grows very slowly, doubling every 14-25 days. Further analysis found that the genome of “P.syntrophicum” contained a high proportion of eukaryotic cell-like genes, confirming previous DNA analysis. This small spherical cell usually gathers into clusters and grows on other microbial partners. They seem to lack the intracellular cytophone-like structures that complex eukaryotes possess, but the outer surface sits with long bumps that often branch.

The researchers speculated that the bulge of the bacteria may have captured passing bacteria, which in turn internalized and eventually evolved into mitochondria. This is likely to lay the foundation for the evolution of eukaryotes.

Editor-in-chief circle point

Spend ten years specifically growing an ancient bacteria? Japanese scientists ” one stick” attitude to scientific research is really not said. Don’t look down on these humble ancient bacteria, they may contain great scientific value. For example, have you heard of CRISPR/Cas, the hottest gene-editing technology today? It is what scientists have found in bacteria and ancient bacteria.