Previously unknown world of life found on common apple blossom

Feb 27, 2013 by Bill Hathaway
Credit: Ashley Shade, courtesy of Yale University

A succession of distinct but surprising microbial communities populate apple blossoms during the flowers' life cycle, suggesting that the bacteria have a carefully regulated relationship with the common fruit tree, say Yale scientists.

University researchers have pinpointed for the first time the identity of some of these microbes, including a form of bacteria previously known to exist in the human mouth and ocean.

"The dogma had been that the bacterial populations on these plants were the product of random environmental events, but when we took a closer we found that just isn't true; we see an orderly transition of specific groups of microorganisms, " said Jo Handelsman, professor of molecular, cellular and and senior author of the study.

The next step is to explore whether these populations interact with the to drive their development. "The microbiome in humans drives our health more than we ever anticipated," she said.

Explore further: Herpes virus hijackers

More information: mbio.asm.org/content/4/2/e00602-12

Related Stories

You are not what you eat

Nov 16, 2010

The types of gut bacteria that populate the guts of primates depend on the species of the host as well as where the host lives and what they eat. A study led by Howard Ochman at Yale University examines the gut microbial ...

Recommended for you

Herpes virus hijackers

May 22, 2015

The virus responsible for the common cold sore hijacks the machinery within our cells, causing them to break down and help shield the virus from our immune system, researchers from the University of Cambridge ...

Bacteria cooperate to repair damaged siblings

May 21, 2015

A University of Wyoming faculty member led a research team that discovered a certain type of soil bacteria can use their social behavior of outer membrane exchange (OME) to repair damaged cells and improve ...

New antibody insecticide targets malaria mosquito

May 20, 2015

Malaria is a cruel and disabling disease that targets victims of all ages. Even now, it is estimated to kill one child every minute. Recent progress in halting the spread of the disease has hinged on the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.