Natures wonders: artic bacteria hook onto ice (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 19:18 (1333 days ago) @ David Turell

They produce a protein molecule like a hook or grapple that grabs onto the ice:

" Out among the sea ice, the microbial ecologist, now based at Argonne National Laboratory, found a bacterial antifreeze protein (AFP) called MpIBP that was hundreds of times larger than other known AFPs. It was an enigma, he says. “For years, I’ve been telling people we don’t really know what this protein does.”


"Ido Braslavsky of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and colleagues placed Marinomonas primoryensis, which produces MpIBP, into a microfluidic flow chamber with a copper wire kept at sub-zero temps and embedded in the middle. Micrographs of bacteria streaming by the ice crystals around the wire showed the cells latching on. When the team introduced antibodies that disabled MpIBP, the bacteria slid off the ice, suggesting that the protein—which is shaped like a fishing line with a hook on the end—enables bacteria to cling to ice floes in their ocean habitat, says Braslavsky. It’s the first bacterial adhesion molecule discovered that sticks to ice.


"Manipulating the adhesion protein with antibodies allowed Braslavsky’s group to disable specific structural regions one at a time, showing that only one domain in the “hook” at the very tip of MpIBP grabs onto ice. Adhesion-blocking antibodies could help prevent biofilm formation, says Braslavsky."

Comment: Note the molecule has potent antifreeze properties. Frozen bacteria can't stay alive. Then think about the anchor hook. it had to be designed before the bacteria went to the Arctic with its dual properties. Not by chance mutations. That had to travel there after appropriate preparation. Could single celled animals foresee what kind of climate they were getting into? No way.

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