Category Archives: Animal Gate

Ambush in a petri dish: Researchers unlock secrets of chemical communication between algae, bacteria

If green algae of the species Chlamydomonas reinhardtii meet Pseudomonas protegens bacteria, their fate is sealed. The bacteria, measuring only some two micrometres, surround the algae, which are around five times larger, and attack them with a deadly toxic cocktail. The algae lose their flagella, which renders them immobile. The green single-celled organisms then become deformed and are no longer able to proliferate. The chemical mechanism underlying this extremely effective attack has now been uncovered by botanists and natural product chemists.

150 years of snake collections: Data bank proves rich snake diversity in the neotropics

An extensive database constructed for snakes of the American tropics has now been released by researchers. This database is made up of museum collections from the past 150 years and demonstrates that some Neotropical regions, such as the Cerrado in the central Brazil, contain a disproportionately high diversity. Furthermore, some other diverse regions are disproportionally under sampled, such as the Amazon.