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02/27/2015

Banfield Team Finds Ultra-Small Bacteria

Source:  LBNL Newscenter

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Fig3banfield
Cryo-electron tomography images from 3D reconstructions of ultra-small bacteria.

ESD’s Jillian Banfield recently led a team of scientists (including ESD’s Hoi-Ying Holman, Giovanni Birarda, and Ken Williams) in capturing images of ultra-small bacteria that are believed to be about as small as life can get. The existence of such ultra-small bacteria has been debated for two decades, but there hasn’t been a comprehensive electron microscopy and DNA-based description of the microbes until now.

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Citation: Luef, B., K.R. Frischkorn, K.C. Wrighton, H.-Y. N. Holman, G. Birarda, B.C. Thomas, A. Singh, K.W. Williams, C.E. Siegerist, S.G. Tringe, K.H. Downing, L.R. Comolli, and J.F. Banfield (2015), Diverse uncultivated ultra-small bacterial cells in groundwater.  Nature Communications, 6 (6372); DOI:10.1038/ncomms7372.

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