Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting embryos against microbes

Date:
October 4, 2010
Source:
Kiel University
Summary:
Scientists have succeeded in deciphering the mechanisms, for the first time, with which embryos of the freshwater polyp Hydra protect themselves against bacterial colonization.

A Hydra embryo colonized by bacteria. The Kiel researchers suspect that benign bacteria protect the embryos by occupying microbial habitats and keeping other more dangerous germs away.
Credit: Copyright: CAU, Photo: Sebastian Fraune and Friederike Anton-Erxleben

Headed by the Kiel zoologist Professor Thomas Bosch, a team of scientists from Germany and Russia succeeded in deciphering the mechanisms, for the first time, with which embryos of the freshwater polyp Hydra protect themselves against bacterial colonization. The paper was published October 4, 2010 in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The researchers from Kiel University found a completely different composition of bacterial colonization in Hydra embryos compared to that of adult polyps. Extensive analysis by microbiologist Sebastian Fraune and biochemist Renι Augustin showed that the embryos are equipped with a so-called antibacterial peptide by the mother. During the first days of development, this ensures that only certain benign bacteria settle on the embryo. "We suspect that these bacteria protect the embryo by occupying microbial habitats and keeping other, more dangerous germs away," explains Bosch. The methods of producing transgenic polyps developed in his laboratory helped the researchers to clarify if and how the bacterial population changes in an adult organism, if the polyps produce certain antibacterial peptides in higher quantities. As the scientists report in PNAS, they found that antibacterial peptides also drastically alter the composition of the bacterial colonization in adult polyps.

For years, biologists had restricted the function of antibacterial peptides to killing microbes. In the meantime, there are more and more indicators that these tiny protein molecules are responsible for the composition of the bacterial colonization. Every organism -- including the human body -- possesses a completely individual profile of bacterial population. The microbial community is obviously already set at the time of birth by a set of antibacterial peptides. These bacteria then ensure that we stay healthy. Many diseases result from disrupted communication between man and microbe.

Hydra belong to the phylum Cnidaria. Members of this phylum are over 600 million years old and were present at the beginning of animal evolution. In their original state, they preserved molecular switches which can also be found in humans in a similar form. With Hydras' practically unlimited regenerative ability and their lack of an ageing process, the old Hydra model system does not only earn a key position in modern evolutionary biology, but also provides new approaches to biomedical research. The Kiel scientists are working step by step towards the solution of this large puzzle, to clarify which bacteria perform which role.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kiel University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastian Fraune et al. In an early branching metazoan, bacterial colonization of the embryo is controlled by maternal antimicrobial peptides. PNAS, October 4, 2010 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008573107

Cite This Page:

Kiel University. "Protecting embryos against microbes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004151649.htm>.
Kiel University. (2010, October 4). Protecting embryos against microbes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004151649.htm
Kiel University. "Protecting embryos against microbes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004151649.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins