04.12.2011 08.Kislev. 5772
New research conducted in Israel and the Netherlands lookes at new strategies of cooperation between bacteria, fungi.
A rich variety of microorganisms – mainly bacteria and fungi – co-colonize the soil environment surrounding plant roots (a narrow region of soil called the rhizosphere that contains many bacteria feeding on sloughed-off plant cells. To thrive in this heterogeneous and highly competitive habitat, microorganisms developed a gamut of advanced and sophisticated strategies for cooperation and competition with other species. New research conducted in Israel and the Netherlands looked at new strategies of cooperation between bacteria and fungi.
Prof. Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel Aviv University, with his master’s student Oren Kalishman and his post-doctoral fellow Dr. Alin Finkelshtein, collaborated on the research with Dr. Colin Ingham of Wageningen University. Ironically, Ben-Jacob is a senior astrophysicist who spends much of his time on the physical universe and subjects like “black holes,” but he has also been studying social behaviors of bacteria for over two decades. His motivation, he says, is to understand what are the fundamental differences between non-living and living systems….