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Microbial consortium

Microbial consortium

A microbial consortium or microbial community, is two or more bacterial or microbial groups living symbiotically. Consortiums can be endosymbiotic or ectosymbiotic, or occasionally may be both.

A microbial consortium or microbial community, is two or more bacterial or microbial groups living symbiotically. Consortiums can be endosymbiotic or ectosymbiotic, or occasionally may be both. The protist Mixotricha paradox, itself an endosymbiont of the Mastotermes darwiniensis termite, is always found as a consortium of at least one endosymbiotic coccus, multiple ectosymbiotic species of flagellate or ciliate bacteria, and at least one species of helical Treponema bacteria that forms the basis of Mixotricha protists' locomotion.

The concept of a consortium was first introduced by Johannes Reinke in 1872, and in 1877 the term symbiosis was introduced and later expanded on. Evidence for symbiosis between microbes strongly suggests it to have been a necessary precursor of the evolution of land plants and for their transition from algal communities in the sea to land.

Overview

Microbes hold promising application potential to raise the efficiency of bioprocesses when dealing with substances that are resistant to decomposition. A large number of microorganisms have been isolated based on their ability to degrade recalcitrant materials such as lignocellulose and polyurethanes. In many cases of degradation efficiency, microbial consortia have been found superior when compared to single strains. For example, novel thermophilic consortia of Brevibacillus spp. and Aneurinibacillus sp. have been isolated from the environment to enhance polymer degradation.

Two approaches exist to obtain microbial consortia involving either a synthetic assembly from scratch by combining several isolated strains, or obtainment of complex microbial communities from environmental samples. For the later, enrichment process is often used to get the desired microbial consortia. For instance, a termite gut-derived consortium showing a high xylanase activity was enriched on raw wheat straw as the sole carbon source, which was able to transform lignocellulose into carboxylates under anaerobic conditions.

Microbialites

Microbialites are lithified microbial mats that grow in benthic freshwater and marine environments. Microbialites are the earliest known Microbialites

Microbialites are lithified microbial mats that grow in benthic freshwater and marine environments. Microbialites are the earliest known fossilized evidence of life, dating back 3.7 billion years. Today modern microbialites are scarce, and are formed mainly by Proteobacteria, cyanobacteria, sulfate-reducing bacteria, diatoms, and microalgae.

These microorganisms produce adhesive compounds that cement sand and join other rocky materials to form mineral "microbial mats". The mats build layer by layer, growing gradually over time.[citation needed] evidence of life, dating back 3.7 billion years. Today modern microbialites are scarce, and are formed mainly by Proteobacteria, cyanobacteria, sulfate-reducing bacteria, diatoms, and microalgae.[citation needed] These microorganisms produce adhesive compounds that cement sand and join other rocky materials to form mineral "microbial mats". The mats build layer by layer, growing gradually over time.

Microbial consortia naturally formed on the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana

Scanning electron microscopy pictures of root surfaces from natural A. thaliana populations showing the complex microbial networks formed on roots.

a) Overview of an A. thaliana root (primary root) with numerous root hairs. b) Biofilm-forming bacteria. c) Fungal or oomycete hyphae surrounding the root surface. d) Primary root densely covered by spores and protists. e, f) Protists, most likely belonging to the Bacillariophyceae class. g) Bacteria and bacterial filaments. h, i) Different bacterial individuals showing great varieties of shapes and morphological features.

Timeline

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Brock biology of microorganisms (Fifteenth, Global ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

Madigan, M; Bender, K; Buckley, D; Sattley, W; Stahl, D (2019). Brock biology of microorganisms (Fifteenth, Global ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

2019

Ecosystems are made of semiosic bonds: Consortia, umwelten, biophony and ecological codes.

Kalevi Kull

Web

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Microbial Consortium

October 10, 2013

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