Predatory mechanisms of Bdellovibrio and like organisms

Future Microbiology
Eckhard StrauchMichael Linscheid

Abstract

Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs) are predatory, Gram-negative delta-proteobacteria with a complex developmental lifecycle. In the free-living attack phase they are highly motile and seek out prey bacteria that they invade. The ensuing intracellular growth and replication is characterized by the development of a long filament that septates into individual cells that differentiate further into the flagellated attack-phase bacterium. The prey bacterium is lysed and motile predators are released. BALOs have recently been considered to have potential as living antibiotics. The idea of using predatory bacteria as therapeutic agents to combat pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria is intriguing, as they can prey upon human pathogenic bacteria including Salmonella, Pseudomonas and Escherichia coli. However, our current knowledge of the amazing biology of these prokaryotes that cause the systematic destruction of Gram-negative bacteria is still rather limited. More has to be learned about their predatory lifestyle before their application as therapeutic agents will become feasible.

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
transcription profiling
electron microscopy
atomic force microscopy

Related Concepts

Bacterial Proteins
Bdellovibrio
Electron Microscopy

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