New publication in Current Biology shows complex life cycles of bacteria in multicellular aggregates

Picture credit to Julia Schwartzman, MIT

An international research team led by MIT scientists Julia Schwartzman and Otto Cordero, and including DOME member Ben Roller, examined how marine bacteria cooperate to degrade algae-derived polymers. Vibrio splendidus 12B01 are capable of living as solitary individuals, but they can also build clonal multicellular structures. This facultative multicellular life cycle allows for a division of labor among phenotypically different cell types to partition limiting resources. This research was performed as a part of the Simons collaboration on Principles of Microbial Ecosystems (PriME).