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Amoeba feast on backpacks

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Listeria, which cause severe infections in humans, appear to have met their match: researchers from Professor Martin Loessner's group at ETH Zurich have discovered that they are – quite literally – easy prey for a particular species of amoeba. The amoeba's tactics are shrewd. It immobilises the motile listeria, which are able to move using specific propellers called flagella. The single-cell organism then bundles the bacteria close together on its surface and forms a backpack. In order to do so, the amoeba relies on the motility of the bacteria. However, this is not enough in itself to form a tight bacteria package. Under the electron microscope, the researchers noticed that ultra-fine threads, so-called filaments, helped tie up the little parcel. The filaments are supposed to stem from the amoeba itself. Amoeba devour backpack Once the amoeba has finished its rucksack, it begins to devour it by phagocytosis. Once inside, the gourmet backpack is then digested completely. In the meantime the amoeba sets about collecting bacteria again.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-amoeba-feast-backpacks.html#jCp
 
 

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