Mitochondria by I. Sheffler

By I. Sheffler

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The use of far-red illumination and intensified imaging technologies have made it possible to develop unobtrusive methods to observe bioluminescence in natural settings. Widder developed an “electronic jellyfish”—essentially an optical lure that can imitate certain types of bio­luminescent displays (Figure WO-9). 24 This is known as vertical migration and is the most massive animal migration pattern on the planet. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. eps predators of its attackers; researchers copied this pattern with LEDs (lower right) to lure bitmap organisms to an underwater camera (Pennisi, 2012).

Not necessarily, according to workshop speaker Joan ­Strassmann of Washington University in St. Louis, who both raised and answered this question as follows (Dr. Strassman’s contribution to the workshop summary report can be found in Appendix A, pages 509-533): If there existed a microbe that moved through the soil as a single cell, propelled, perhaps, by a single flagellum, taking in nutrients as it encountered them, then dividing when it got big enough, I suppose you could call it solitary, not social.

P. aeruginosa’s acyl-HSL quorum-sensing system controls about 300 genes, including those involved in virulence and biofilm formation. This battery of genes “likely evolved and was selected for a purpose outside of an animal host,” Greenberg said. At high population densities, bacteria coordinate the expression of genes in the quorum regulon; this produces virulence factors in concentrations that can overwhelm host defenses, he explained. The existence of quorum-sensing mutants of P. aeruginosa with reduced virulence suggests that quorum sensing may have promise as a therapeutic target, Greenberg reported.

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