Evolution: newly found bacteria in plant cells (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Monday, May 03, 2021, 19:00 (5 days ago) @ David Turell

Quite a surprise:

https://phys.org/news/2021-05-healthy-bacteria-cells.html

"International experts have described for the first time how healthy plants appear to carry bacteria in their cells, opening a new avenue of research to improve future plant health and propagation efforts—including food crops such as grains and fruit such as grapes.

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"'It's baffling how this bacterial association in cell cultures escaped the attention of plant biologists and microbiologists considering that this is a widespread phenomenon in plant tissue cultures we tested, and the in-vitro cultures have long been used in both basic and applied research," says senior Flinders University Professor Chris Franco.

"Naming them Cytobacts, research collaborators Dr. Pious Thomas, previously from the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research and Flinders Emeritus Professor Franco say cytobacteria have been widely observed in micro-propagating stocks in crops including banana and papaya.

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"'Normally the endophytic bacteria are known to reside between plant cells. Because plant cells are considered to be free of other living organisms it goes against the grain to report bacteria within plant cells," he says.

"'We need new tools to be able to study the role of these intracellular bacteria in healthy plants which are not normally amenable for conventional microbiological methods," he says.

"'This new paradigm of cytobacteria in health cells has the potential to open up a whole new area of research, including plant biology, human health and environmental microbiology," Professor Franco says.

Comment: More evidence of the importance of bacteria during all of evolution. We dn't know how, but if they are there they supply a useful purpose, yet to be found


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