October 21, 2014

The Scientist: Prof. Esther Angert Studies Extreme Bacteria

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While the majority of bacteria cannot be seen without a microscope, there exists a group of bacterial species that is visible to the naked eye. Known as Epulopiscium, they are “an extreme on the spectrum of diversity of bacterial life in existence,” according to Prof. Esther Angert, microbiology.

Species within the genus Epulopiscium are some of the largest known bacteria, but size isn’t the only unusual characteristic of Epulopiscium. Unlike typical bacteria, Epulopiscium reproduce internally.

“By studying an extreme organism, you may be able to more easily understand fundamental processes that apply to all sorts of bacteria,” Angert said.

Courtesy of Prof. Esther Angert, microbiologyProud parent | Prof. Ester Angert, microbiology, studies Epulopiscium, a group of bacteria species that reproduce by growing their daughter cells inside them until they burst open, releasing the new young cells.