Fascinating paper on collaborative microbial transport:

Conidia (nonmotile asexual fungal spores) of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus are carried by the swarming bacterium Paenibacillus vortex. The bacteria rescue and transport the spores away from adverse conditions. This aids in fungal dispersal.

When encountering an impassable air gap, the bacterial swarm releases the fungal spores which then germinate and form a mycelial bridge; the bacteria cross the bridge.

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this paper is blowing my mind...

"bacterial colonies inoculated outside a region of antibiotic inhibition can send pioneering swarms (rotating bacterial groups or vortices) that are able to traverse several centimeters of antibiotic-impregnated agar to reach new areas favorable for growth"


every engineering problem has already been solved. humyn hubris and exceptionalism blinds us to this reality.

bacteria have been evolving on this planet for roughly 3.5 billion (!) years. they are bearers of some of the most advanced, elegant and sophisticated technology in the known universe, yet humyn people commonly view them as primitive lifeforms - barely worth a second thought (unless they cause illness, in which case they must be exterminated with crude antibiotics).

so much to learn.

an image of the bacteria featured in the aforementioned paper: Paenibacillus vortex (a "pattern-forming bacteria").

"Colony organization of the Paenibacillus vortex bacteria when grown on 15g/l peptone and 2.25% (w/v) agar for four days. The bright yellow dots are the vortices. The colonies were grown in a Petri dish size 8.8cm and stained with Coomassie dyes (Brilliant Blue). The colors were inverted to emphasize higher densities using the brighter shades of yellow."

here's the video recording of our discussion of this paper:

Transport of nonmotile conidia by a swarming bacterium

the 11th meeting of the hyphal fusion mycology reading group, with @notplants and @glyph

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