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Updated by MICR311_Investigator-Urissa on Apr 13, 2021
Headline for I've officially adopted the world's most beautiful and intelligent bacterium: Paenibacillus vortex
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I've officially adopted the world's most beautiful and intelligent bacterium: Paenibacillus vortex

Beauty PLUS intelligence...Now that's a whapping combination! It was love at first sight when I stumbled upon this bacterium, and that's because Paenibacillus vortex is a pattern-forming bacteria that forms colonies with complex and dynamic architectures. Being a "social" microorganism, Paenibacillus vortex possesses advanced motility and is mainly found in heterogeneous and complex environments, such as the rhizosphere. AND they have the world's highest "Bacteria Social-IQ Score" - would you believe it ?!

Paenibacillus vortex - Wikipedia

The stunning colony organization of the Paenibacillus vortex bacteria. The bright yellow dots are the vortices. The colonies were stained with Coomassie dyes (Brilliant Blue). The colors were inverted to emphasize higher densities using the brighter shades of yellow. Now that's bacterial architecture at it's finest!

Curved rod-shaped P. vortex - Wikipedia

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation of P. vortex illustrating a typical bacteria arrangement in the center of a vortex. Its important to take note that each individual bacilli bacterium is somewhat curved. Scale bar in is 5µm

Paenibacillus vortex - Wikipedia

Paenibacillus vortex is a species of pattern-forming bacteria, first discovered in the early 1990s by Eshel Ben-Jacob's group at Tel Aviv University.[1] It is a social microorganism that forms colonies with complex and dynamic architectures. P. vortex is mainly found in heterogeneous and complex environments, such as the rhizosphere, the soil region directly influenced by plant roots. The genus Paenibacillus comprises facultative anaerobic, endospore-forming bacteria originally included within the genus Bacillus and then reclassified as a separate genus in 1993.[2] Bacteria in the genus have been detected in a variety of environments such as: soil, water, vegetable matter, forage and insect larvae, as well as clinical samples.

Swarming and complex pattern formation in Paenibacillus vortex studied by imaging and tracking cells

Swarming motility allows microorganisms to move rapidly over surfaces. The Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus vortex exhibits advanced cooperative motility on agar plates resulting in intricate colonial patterns with geometries that are highly sensitive to the environment. The cellular mechanisms that underpin the complex multicellular organization of such a simple organism are not well understood.

Movement of a single vortex of Paenibacillus vortex

500× magnification and twice the real speed.

The genius of bacteria | EurekAlert! Science News

The international team was first to sequence the genome of pattern-forming bacteria, the Paenibacillus vortex (Vortex) discovered two decades ago by Prof. Ben-Jacob and his collaborators. While sequencing the genome, the team developed the first "Bacteria Social-IQ Score" and found that Vortex and two other Paenibacillus strains have the world's highest Social-IQ scores among all 500 sequenced bacteria. The research was recently published in the journal BMC Genomics.

Bacterial Swarms Recruit Cargo Bacteria To Pave the Way in Toxic Environments | mBio

Swarming bacteria are challenged by the need to invade hostile environments. Swarms of the flagellated bacterium Paenibacillus vortex can collectively transport other microorganisms. Here we show that P. vortex can invade toxic environments by carrying antibiotic-degrading bacteria; this transport is mediated by a specialized, phenotypic subpopulation utilizing a process not dependent on cargo motility. Swarms of beta-lactam antibiotic (BLA)-sensitive P. vortex used beta-lactamase-producing, resistant, cargo bacteria to detoxify BLAs in their path. In the presence of BLAs, both transporter and cargo bacteria gained from this temporary cooperation; there was a positive correlation between BLA resistance and dispersal. P. vortex transported only the most beneficial antibiotic-resistant cargo (including environmental and clinical isolates) in a sustained way. P. vortex displayed a bet-hedging strategy that promoted the colonization of nontoxic niches by P. vortex alone; when detoxifying cargo bacteria were not needed, they were lost. This work has relevance for the dispersal of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and for strategies for asymmetric cooperation with agricultural and medical implications.

Current knowledge and perspectives of Paenibacillus: a review

Isolated from a wide range of sources, the genus Paenibacillus comprises bacterial species relevant to humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Many Paenibacillus species can promote crop growth directly via biological nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, production of the phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and release of siderophores that enable iron acquisition. They can also offer protection against insect herbivores and phytopathogens, including bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and viruses. This is accomplished by the production of a variety of antimicrobials and insecticides, and by triggering a hypersensitive defensive response of the plant, known as induced systemic resistance (ISR). Paenibacillus-derived antimicrobials also have applications in medicine, including polymyxins and fusaricidins, which are nonribosomal lipopeptides first isolated from strains of Paenibacillus polymyxa. Other useful molecules include exo-polysaccharides (EPS) and enzymes such as amylases, cellulases, hemicellulases, lipases, pectinases, oxygenases, dehydrogenases, lignin-modifying enzymes, and mutanases, which may have applications for detergents, food and feed, textiles, paper, biofuel, and healthcare.

Self-engineering capabilities of bacteria

Hierarchical colonial organization. Colonial patterns generated by the Paenibacillus vortex bacteria when exposed to different growth conditions. The pictures (a–d) show a whole colony view. The dynamics of the vortices is quite complicated and includes attraction, repulsion, merging and splitting of vortices. Yet, from this complex, seemingly chaotic movement, a colony with complex but non-arbitrary organization develops, as seen in pictures (a–d). Pictures (e) and (f) are snapshots from a video recording, taken during formation of new vortices.