Interactions between Bdellovibrio and its host cell

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character
H Stolp


The bdellovibrios are extremely small bacteria with the unique property of being parasites of other (gram-negative) bacteria. In the presence of viable and susceptible bacteria a Bdellovibrio cell physically 'attacks' an individual host cell, attaches to its surface, penetrates the cell wall, and multiples within the periplasmic (intramural) space of its prey. The invading Bdellovibrio and its progeny degrade and consume the cellular constituents of the invaded host bacterium. This process finally results in complete lysis of the host cell and release of the Bdellovibrio progeny. From a population of parasitic bdellovibrios, derivatives can be selected that grow on complex nutrient media. Currently, none of the different nutritional types can be propagated in a fully defined synthetic medium. By degradation of the cellular constituents of the host the Bdellovibrio cell in its periplasmic space has available all the monomeric subunits needed to synthesis of the macromolecules. Peculiarities of Bdellovibrio metabolism with respect to uptake of preformed molecules and energy efficiency are discussed.


Oct 1, 1990·American Journal of Physical Anthropology·C Singh, K B McKnight

Related Concepts

Pathologic Cytolysis
Metabolic Process, Cellular
Anatomical Space Structure
Protein Subunits
Gram-Negative Bacteria
Cell Wall

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