IGEM:MIT/2006/Other

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SQUARE BACTERIA (KB)

Okay, so i just wanted to real quick post a couple articles relating to the polar and square bacteria idea -- maybe we could do something cool with this stuff? -- i dunno tho, i haven't thought too much yet about applications.... maybe we could talk to Kelly? Anyways, i just came across the articles tonight and thought that they might be worth sharing....

Jasonk 02:10, 6 June 2006 (EDT): Yeah, so I came across this bacteria as well, but dont think it's the same one brenner was referring to that grows into square colonies. this one's actual cell morphology is shaped like a square and very hard to grow in the lab it seems.

Here's from Jason Kelly:

Square bacteria

Apparently, there is a bacteria that grows into square colonies. I heard about it from an interview with Sydney Brenner, however after looking pretty hard I can't find any more information about it. he thought it was called tetramitus, but that's an amoebae as far as I can tell. I tried getting a hold of him to see if he remembers what it's actually called, but no luck (getting a hold of him). If you can find it there's probably lots of cool stuff to be done with it. His quote from the interview follows:

Brenner Quote about Square Bacterial Colonies [hide]

"As a model of polarity I, I played around in 1965, this is very early, with caulobacter. In fact, I made some mutants of caulobacter. Caulobacter is a bacterium that has a very interesting life cycle which involves a polar, polar growth. That is, one side of the bacterium is different from the other. One side carries a stalk, to which the bacterium attaches, when it divides one of the daughters makes a flagellum and the other one- and, and then when that divides, one of its daughters makes a stalk again. So one has to, one has to say- how does this bacterium know which is its left side and which is its right side? These caulobacters had been discovered by Roger Stanier, who I knew at Berkeley, and so I got some cultures from him and grew colonies and made some mutants, they were nutritional mutants. And the idea was what can we make mutants to control this cycle and use bacteria as a model of differentiation. I also played around with a wonderful bacteria which I think is called tetramitus. This little bacterium that grows in plates. I found it very difficult to grow. It grows as a square plate of bacte- of, of- a square colony, one layer thick. It's a very interesting bacterium, because it means that successive divisions are polarised at right angles to each other. And we did grow some in the lab, and wondered whether this wouldn't be something to work on in order to see how was it that a plane of division in something like a bacterium could in successive divisions be rotated through 90 degrees."

Contact: Jason Kelly (MIT iGEM team) Retrieved from "http://openwetware.org/wiki/IGEM:Idea_exchange"

Here's the articles i found interesting/relevant:

1. Yay for Nature Magazine! -- anyways, the cool thing is that while it was hard for them to get a pure strain of the square bacteria, they do have one now http://www.nature.com/news/2004/041011/full/041011-3.html

2. This gives details on square bacteria motility http://www.hawaii.edu/microbiology/Alam/publications/EMBO84-ALAM.pdf

BIOLOGICAL SPRING IDEA?? (KB)

check out this article: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/288/5463/95 ---- maybe we could store and then release energy like how horseshoe crabs do in the actin polymerization reaction

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