|Social IQ of bacteria|
The paper is from Eshel-Ben Jacob and colleagues from many institutions around the world.
Here is a summary of the article (from the paper)
The pattern-forming bacterium Paenibacillus vortex is notable for its advanced social behavior, which is reflected in development of colonies with highly intricate architectures. Prior to this study, only two other Paenibacillus species (Paenibacillus sp. JDR-2 and Paenibacillus larvae) have been sequenced. However, no genomic data is available on the Paenibacillus species with pattern-forming and complex social motility. Here we report the de novo genome sequence of this Gram-positive, soil-dwelling, sporulating bacterium.
The complete P. vortex genome was sequenced by a hybrid approach using 454 Life Sciences and Illumina, achieving a total of 289× coverage, with 99.8% sequence identity between the two methods. The sequencing results were validated using a custom designed Agilent microarray expression chip which represented the coding and the non-coding regions. Analysis of the P. vortex genome revealed 6,437 open reading frames (ORFs) and 73 non-coding RNA genes. Comparative genomic analysis with 500 complete bacterial genomes revealed exceptionally high number of two-component system (TCS) genes, transcription factors (TFs), transport and defense related genes. Additionally, we have identified genes involved in the production of antimicrobial compounds and extracellular degrading enzymes.
These findings suggest that P. vortex has advanced faculties to perceive and react to a wide range of signaling molecules and environmental conditions, which could be associated with its ability to reconfigure and replicate complex colony architectures. Additionally, P. vortex is likely to serve as a rich source of genes important for agricultural, medical and industrial applications and it has the potential to advance the study of social microbiology within Gram-positive bacteria.
But perhaps more interesting is the concept that Eshel-Ben Jacob has been pushing on bacterial social intelligence. See for more detail:
- The Genius of Bacteria
- Realizing Social Intelligence in Bacteria
- Bacteria to be tested for 'social intelligence'? « Anguished Repose
Sirota-Madi, A., Olender, T., Helman, Y., Ingham, C., Brainis, I., Roth, D., Hagi, E., Brodsky, L., Leshkowitz, D., Galatenko, V., Nikolaev, V., Mugasimangalam, R., Bransburg-Zabary, S., Gutnick, D., Lancet, D., & Ben-Jacob, E. (2010). Genome sequence of the pattern forming Paenibacillus vortex bacterium reveals potential for thriving in complex environments BMC Genomics, 11 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-11-710