Bdellovibrio: growth and development during the predatory cycle

Current Opinion in Microbiology
Carey LambertR Elizabeth Sockett


Predatory Bdellovibrio enter the periplasm of other Gram-negative bacteria, growing within and consuming them. Unravelling molecular details of this intimate association between bacterial predator and prey is challenging yet fascinating, and might lead to novel antibacterials in the future. Pioneering physiological and biochemical studies described the predatory life of Bdellovibrio in the 1960s and 1970s, later followed by recombinant DNA work in the 1990s, which led to a revival in Bdellovibrio molecular research. This revival continues in the 21st century with the advent of a genome sequence. Now worldwide research is underway on the comparative genomics and transcriptomics of predatory bacteria, and will illuminate the evolutionary adaptations to become predatory, and will hopefully ultimately illuminate how the predatory processes of Bdellovibrio can be employed against pathogenic bacteria and for humankind.


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