Microbiology (Biology and Medicine)



Extracellular vesicles play a much greater role in horizontal gene transfer in the ocean than previously assumed more

A new Achilles heel of the bacterial cell wall

How a single regulatory protein acts as a multi-tool of bacterial cell wall remodeling more

An expensive deal

To maintain a costly ability, harmful gut bacteria use a clever toxin-antitoxin system more

Three coloured curves illustrate fluctuations in glucose metabolism, in the background a light microscope image of bacterial cells

Measurements in single living bacterial cells reveal large periodic fluctuations of bacterial metabolism more

Keeping competitors away drives colonization success in the plant microbiota

Scientists have identified chemical strategies that bacteria use to keep competitors at bay more

Thrifty trick for bacterial plastic upcycling

Implementation of a newly discovered metabolic pathway increases the CO2 efficiency of PET-utilizing bacteria more

Turning a poison into food

Bacteria use an enzyme that traps harmful sulfite and converts it directly into useful sulfide more

Cryo-em images of a flagellum filament by Michael Bell (second author)

New insight into how harmless gut bacteria avoid triggering inflammation more

Revealing biochemical rings of power

Genome mining uncovers a widespread class of natural products that could be candidates for future drugs more

Bacterial Plasmid Segregation: Two Heads, One Hat

An interdisciplinary study reveals a unified model for plasmid distribution in bacterial cell division more

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Cryo-em images of a flagellum filament by Michael Bell (second author)

New insight into how harmless gut bacteria avoid triggering inflammation more

Gut microbes and humans on a joint evolutionary journey

Researchers discover simultaneous evolutionary history of gut microbes with their human hosts over hundreds of thousands of years more

Vital ventilation

Stony corals use a refined built-in ventilation system to protect themselves from environmental stressors more

All organisms produce methane

The formation of the greenhouse gas is driven by reactive oxygen species more

From the oilfield to the lab

A special microbe turns oil into gases all by itself more

Scientific highlights 2021

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2021 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 12 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year more

First overview of archaea in vertebrates

Uncovering how host relatedness influences the diversity of archaea in the vertebrate gut more

A beetle’s Achilles heel

The pesticide damages the microorganisms necessary for the formation of the exoskeleton of the saw-toothed grain beetle more

Bacteria adapt syringe apparatus to changing conditions

Study shows how pathogenic bacteria can adapt to varying conditions of the digestive tract more

Starvation turns slime moulds into multicellular organisms

How sulfur metabolism may have paved the way for the evolution of multicellularity more

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Every grain of sand is a met­ro­polis for bac­teria

A single sand grain harbours up to 100,000 microorganisms from thousands of species. more

Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet

Thistle tortoise beetles outsource the job of breaking down plant cell walls to a symbiotic bacterium more

Algae with light switch

The adhesion of Chlamydomonas, a unicellular alga, to surfaces is light-dependent more

<p>Ancient partnership between ciliates and bacteria</p>

Symbiotic ciliates and bacteria have a common ancestor more

Oil as energy source for deep-sea creatures

Scientists discover mussels and sponges in the deep sea which can thrive on oil with the help of symbiont bacteria more

Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard

Bacterial symbionts transition between plant pathogenicity and insect defensive mutualism more

Gut bacteria affect ageing

The life expectancy of older fish is extended if their gut is colonized with the microorganisms of younger fish. more

Sunken logs serve as habitats in the deep sea

Organisms from the nutrient-deficient deep sea depend on wood as source of energy more

Bodyguards in the gut have a chemical weapon

Symbiotic bacteria produce antibiotics to clear harmful pathogens from the gut of caterpillars more

A virus as a symbiosis partner

The mavirus provides single-celled organisms with immunity against a giant virus more

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On a research voyage with the 'Meteor'

Scientists discover newe hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic more

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