Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Create Three-dimensional Model of Bacterium

August 28, 2013

A team of scientists from Heidelberg University and the European Molecular Laboratory has succeeded in building a three-dimensional model of the Gemmata obscuriglobus bacterium including the structure of its membrane system. The team discovered that certain bacteria can build complex membrane structures that make them look like eukaryotes. The genetic material of G. obscuriglobus was surrounded by a double membrane, a characteristic called into question in the differentiation between prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

The studies done by the scientists from Heidelberg University showed that the membranes within the G. obscuriglobus are only part of the interior membrane present in all bacteria and that surrounds the cytoplasm. According to the team, the results of their study disprove the assumption of the existence of a bacterial cell nucleus. The cell ctructure and membrance of G. obscuriglobus are simply more complex than in "classic" bacteria, and it cannot be classified as a eukaryote.

More details about this study are available at: