The Antifreeze Effect of the Gut

The Antifreeze Effect of the Gut

Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Marche in Ancona, Italy, have discovered that the gut bacteria of Antarctic worms act like antifreeze, helping these organisms survive in extreme cold conditions. The study, led by Cinzia Corinaldesi, was published in Science journal.

The research focused on three species of Antarctic polychaetes: Leitoscoloplos geminus, Aphelochaeta palmeri, and Aglaophamus trissophyllus.

These worms have a stable bacterial core dominated by Meiothermus and Anoxybacillus, bacteria which are genetically equipped to produce proteins that function as cryoprotectants. The symbiotic relationship between these bacteria and their worm hosts suggests an evolutionary adaptation that supports the survival of the holobiont in extreme cold.

The discovery of these bacterial cryoprotective proteins holds promise for developing new biotechnological applications based on natural antifreeze mechanisms.

This study underscores the critical role of the microbiome in helping organisms adapt to extreme environments and offers exciting potential for future biotechnological innovations.

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Microbiota in the Press & Media

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