A bacterium that can measure up to 2 centimeters discovered in Guadeloupe

A growing Thiomargarita magnifica bacterium. The Regents of the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

DECRYPTION – Visible to the naked eye, “Thiomargarita magnifica” has a completely new internal structure.

By definition, microbes can be observed… under a microscope. But you always need exceptions to confirm the rule, and the bacteria Thiomargarita magnifica is a very big exception. This bacterium discovered in Guadeloupe is quite simply the largest known to date: it has the particularity of being visible to the naked eye! “To give you an idea of ​​what this represents in terms of size difference compared to other bacteria, it’s a bit like a human crossing another human as high as Mount Everest”illustrates Jean-Marie Volland, researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (California) who co-authored the publication devoted to T. magnifica published in the journal Science . Apart from its extraordinary size, the bacterium has also revealed a unique internal structure which opens up new perspectives in the world of bacteriology.

To arrive at these discoveries, however, the path was particularly long. “It all started in 2009 when I noticed…

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