Gufodotto would like you to read these:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Have an Ice Day!!!

Pseudomonas syringae is an extremely interesting bacterium, which I discovered reading Olivia Judson's latest post on cloud-dwelling bacteria.

Usually, plants growing in cold regions use special chemicals as anti-freeze. This bacterium, though, secretes Ice Nucleation-active proteins to make ice crystals grow at temperatures as high as -2C. The crystals cause damage to cell walls of plants, and the bacterium vacuums up the nutrients released.

So, they use ice crystals as straw, although the name "syringae" doesn't come from there. Rather, it comes from the plants they were isolated from at first:

It is named after the lilac tree (Syringa vulgaris), from which it was first isolated[2]
(from the wikipedia)

and always on the theme of vampires from the cold, the new Penny Arcade strip is out!

No comments: