In the Caribbean, scientists announced they had discovered “the world’s largest bacterium” in the mangrove swamp.
It was stated that this bacterium, which is about the length of a human eyelash, can be seen with the naked eye, unlike bacteria viewed in microscopic environments under normal conditions.
Marine biologist Jean-Marie Volland at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said the thin white bacterium, about the size of a human eyelash, was “the largest known to date.”
Olivier Gros, the first scientist to make the discovery, found the first example of the bacteria clinging to mangrove leaves in the Guadeloupe Archipelago in 2009.
Due to its large size, it was not understood at first sight to be a bacterium, but later examinations revealed that the organism was a single bacterial cell.
Gros found bacteria attached to oyster shells, rocks and glass bottles in the swamp.
Continuing research on the bacteria, the researchers said that the cell has an unusual structure for bacteria.
The researchers said they weren’t sure why the bacterium was so large.
Volland, one of the authors of the study, suggested that this could be an adaptation to help prevent it from being eaten by smaller organisms.
Details of the discovery have been published in Science.