|Author(s):||M. del Mar Aguilo-Feretjans, R. Bosch, R.J. Puxty, M. Latva, V. Zadjelovic, A. Chhun, D. Sousoni, M. Polin, D. Scanlan, J.A. Christie-Oleza|
|Title:||Pili allow dominant marine cyanobacteria to avoid sinking and evade predation|
How oligotrophic marine cyanobacteria position themselves in the water column is currently unknown. The current paradigm is that these organisms avoid sinking due to their reduced size and passive drift within currents. Here, we show that one in four picocyanobacteria encode a type IV pilus which allows these organisms to increase drag and remain suspended at optimal positions in the water column, as well as evade predation by grazers. The evolution of this sophisticated floatation mechanism in these purely planktonic streamlined micro- organisms has important implications for our current understanding of microbial distribution in the oceans and predator–prey interactions which ultimately will need incorporating into future models of marine carbon flux dynamics.
Related staffRafael Bosch ZaragozaJoseph Alexander Chriestie de OlezaMarco Polin
Related departmentsMarine EcologyAnimal and Microbial Biodiversity