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Eavesdropping Viruses Turned Bacterial Assassins

News   Dec 17, 2018 | Original Story by Liz Fuller-Wright for Princeton University.

 
Eavesdropping Viruses Turned Bacterial Assassins

These E. coli bacteria harbor proteins from the eavesdropping virus. One of the viral proteins has been tagged with a red marker. When the virus is in the “stay” mode (left), the bacteria grow and the red protein is spread throughout each cell. When the virus overhears that its hosts have achieved a quorum (right), the kill-stay decision protein is flipped to “kill” mode. A second viral protein binds the red protein and sends it to the cell poles (yellow dots). All the cells in the right panel will soon die. Credit: Bonnie Bassler and Justin Silpe, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University.

 
 
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