Sampling sites among the mangroves of the French Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe, where the giant bacteria Ca Thiomargarita magnifica was found.
Photo by Pierre-Yves PASCAL / Lawrence Berkeley Na
- The world’s largest variety of bacteria has been discovered.
- Scientists say they made the discovery in Guadeloup in France.
- It is believed to be 5000 times bigger than other bacteria.
You can see it with the naked eye and pick it up with a pair of tweezers – not bad for a single bacteria.
Scientists say they have discovered the world’s largest variety in the mangroves of Guadeloupe – and it puts its peers to shame.
At up to two centimetres (three-quarters of an inch), “Thiomargarita magnifica” is not only around 5000 times bigger than most bacteria – it boasts a more complex structure, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday.
The discovery “shakes up a lot of knowledge” in microbiology, Olivier Gros, professor of biology at the University of the Antilles and co-author of the study, told AFP.
In his laboratory in the Caribbean island group city of Pointe-a-Pitre, he marvelled at a test tube containing strands that look like white eyelashes.
Scientists say they have discovered the world’s largest variety of bacteria in the mangroves of Guadeloupe.
AFP Olivier GROS / Lawrence Berkeley National Laborato
“At first I thought it was anything but a bacterium because something two centimetres (in size) just couldn’t be one”, he said.
The researcher first spotted the strange filaments in a patch of sulphur-rich mangrove sediment in 2009.
Techniques including electronic microscopy revealed it was a bacterial…