A bacterium switches from prey to predator when it gets cold

A bacterium switches from prey to predator when it gets cold

Myxococcus xanthus bacteria typically feed on other microbes. Then one of their traditional prey turned on them

EYE OF SCIENCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Two species of bacteria appear to reverse which is predator and which is prey depending on the temperature. Just a small temperature change is enough to cause the switch.

The soil bacteria Myxococcus xanthus is a social species that hunts in packs – it forms temporary, multicellular “swarms” of individuals that chemically tear apart and soak up nutrients from other microbes. And its prey includes Pseudomonas fluorescens, a bacterium common in both soil and water.…

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