The previous standard for the largest microbe that is currently known to science has been completely decimated. The recently found Thiomargarita Magnifica is an incredible 50 times larger than the previous record holder. And that’s not the end of it. T. Magnifica, which was initially found in a mangrove swamp in Guadeloupe, in the Lesser Antilles, challenges a great number of preconceived notions regarding bacteria.
To begin, it is not a microbe in any sense of the word.
Jean-Marie Volland, a marine microbiologist, was the one who announced the discovery of a new species of the huge bacterium during a news conference on Tuesday. “We are announcing a new species of a giant bacteria… that generates filaments up to 20,000 micrometers long,” he said. “They are by far the largest bacteria that science has ever discovered. One centimeter is roughly equivalent to the length of a single cell on average “he remarked. “but it is a single bacterial cell,” T. Magnifica is the size and shape of an eyelash despite being a single bacterium.
The T. Magnifica is quite enormous.
It is difficult to convey precisely how large these germs are in a single sentence. One possible approach to look at it is as follows: If you were the size of a regular bacterium, running into T. Magnifica would be the same as running into someone as tall as Mount Everest. Someone so tall would undoubtedly face a variety of challenges, which is to be expected. Would their heart be able to pump blood the several kilometers it would take to get to their head? Were they able to support the weight on their ankles?
Similar inquiries have been made by researchers regarding many other forms of “giant” bacteria. It was discovered that T. Magnifica might hold the key to some of the questions. Petra Anne Levin, a cellular biologist, says in a companion piece that was published alongside the discovery that “[f]or large cells, the diffusion of molecules is expected to be the main problem.” [f]or large cells, the diffusion of molecules Bacteria do not possess the organelles seen in eukaryotic cells, which allow them to speed up critical processes such as the transmission of signals and the movement of materials. According to what she has written, this result “contributes to the resolution of the mystery of what variables limit cell size.” The enormous size is supported by a novel
Initial investigations into this recently found creature have shown that it has evolved an extraordinary morphology, including the presence of an organelle that has never been seen before. This organism is known as T. Magnifica. According to Volland, “instead of having their DNA floating freely in their cytoplasm, these enormous cells have their DNA tucked away in microscopic compartments that are connected by membranes.” “These compartments constitute a new sort of bacterial organism that we dubbed “repins,” which means, in French, the little seeds that are found in fruits,” he explains. “Pepins” comes from the French word “Pepin,” which means “fruit seed.”
This is a very significant finding because it challenges many previously held beliefs about the characteristics that set apart the various kinds of cells. “Up until now,” says Volland, “it was believed that the packing of a cell’s DNA inside of membrane-bound organelles was strictly limited to the eukaryotic cells, which are the building blocks of organisms such as humans, other animals, or plants.” “Until now,” he says, “the packing of a cell’s DNA inside of membrane-bound organelles was considered to be strictly limited to the eukaryotic cells Therefore, T. Magnifica is an intriguing case study of a bacterium that has progressed to a more complicated level as a result of evolution.
And in case you were curious about whether or not T. Magnifica poses any kind of risk to human beings, the answer is a resounding “no,” as stated by specialists who have had the opportunity to research the creature.