Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus

Classification

Higher order taxa

Bacteria; Proteobacteria; Deltaproteobacteria; Bdellovibrionales; Bdellovibrionaceae; Bdellovibrio

Species

Bdellovibro bacteriovous

NCBI: TaxonomyGenome

Strain

Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus HD100

Description and significance

Bdellovibrios were discovered by Stolp and Petzhold in 1962, in an attempt to isolate bacteriophage from soil samples. Stolp and Petzhold observed unique plaques in their samples that took several days to develop and continued to grow for over a week, instead of plaques caused by bacteriophages that would appear within hours. A closer inspection of the plaques under a light microscope revealed cells that were small, highly motile, and vibrio-shaped. These cells were Bdellovibrios.

After the discovery of Bdellovibrios further observations revealed many interesting and unique properties. One property that makes Bdellovibrios interesting is that it is a parasite to other gram negative bacterias. Bdellovibrios have biphasic life-cycles that include an attack phase, and a free living and mobile phase.(2) The attack phase is when it attaches to another gram negative bacteria and imbeds itself into its periplasm, it then procedes to grow and replicate itself by degrading the host bacterium from the inside out.(1) In the free living and mobile phase, Bdellovibrios move about in search of host or prey bacteria so it can intiate attack phase again.(2) Each of these phases are of interest to researchers because it reveals unique cell-cell interactions and unusual cell metabolism.(1)

Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a small, curved, and highly motile gram negative bacteria approximately 0.2 to 0.5 Am wide and 0.5 to 2.5 Am long.(3) It has been found in many environments that include soil, sewage, and other terrestial and aquatic habitats. B. bacteriovorus has been observed to only attack gram negative bacteria which includes many plant, animal and human pathogens making it an execellent candidate as a biocontrol agent.(2) The study of its degradative enzymes and host targeting system has shed some insight in possible designs for new antimicrobial agents.(3)

Genome structure

Cell structure and metabolism

Ecology

Pathology

Application to Biotechnology

Current Research

References

Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Hiu Cheng