Two factors that lead the representation of a vital gene needed by luminescent bacteria to destroy rivals have been discovered. Researchers from Penn State found such an outstanding mechanism. Their discovery sheds light on the molecular mechanisms that activate various strains of bacteria to fight and develop symbiosis in the Hawaiian bobtail squid. Consequently, the research helps us understand how a host’s microbiome is settled. Such a thing could apply to more advanced microbiomes in people.
The team of researchers tried to find out how bacteria communicate with one another in the setting of an animal-microbe symbiosis. They found out how, with a lot of those symbioses, the surface of the host tissue turns into an ecosystem. There, the strains of bacteria and the cells of various species communicate and fight for resources. More intriguingly was the way that the mechanism was regulated genetically.
Squids have specific gene regulatory factors that activate bacteria against rivals and provide symbiosis
The Hawaiian bobtail squid hatches, and when it does that, a bioluminescent bacteria starts to colonize tiny openings dubbed crypts in the squid’s light organ. Then, the bacteria bundles and receives protection from a nutrient-abundant environment within the crypts. Such a thing helps the nocturnal squids to stay safe from predators. But, some strains of bacteria, dubbed Vibrio fischeri, send some needle-like mechanism recognized as a T6SS (type VI Secretion system) to inject toxins and destroy adjacent bacterial cells.
“Because T6SS is thought to be energetically expensive for the bacteria to produce, and doing so could interfere with the bacteria’s ability to thrive and produce bioluminescence, understanding how the components of the system are regulated will help us to explain the host-symbiont relationship and the factors that contribute to establishing symbiosis,” explained Tim Miyashiro, the leader of the research.