Research press release


Nature Communications

Ecology: War of the worms, bacteria and fungi



今回、Ke-Qin Zhangたちは、この未知の化合物の少なくとも一部がウシの糞に生息する数々の細菌を起源としている可能性があるという仮説を提示している。Zhangたちは、細菌から放出された代謝産物を解析し、その代謝産物の1つである尿素が真菌のわなの形成を誘導すること、そして、ウシの糞に生息する特定の細菌が、尿素の生成と放出を盛んに行うことを発見したのだ。また、尿素が引き金となってわなが形成される機構が、アスカロシドが引き金となってわなが形成される機構とは異なることも判明した。今回の研究は、細菌と真菌の相互作用を示唆しているが、この関係を確かめ、その中身を明確にするためには、さらなる研究が必要となる。

A bacterial metabolite, urea, induces a lifestyle change in certain soil fungi causing them to trap and eat nematodes, reports a study published online this week in Nature Communications. This research suggests that urea release may be a strategy used by soil bacteria for ‘mobilizing’ fungi for their own benefit in order to get rid of the bacteria-hunting nematodes.

Certain fungi form specialised cellular structures or 'traps' to feed on nematodes (a type of worm). These traps are usually produced when certain nematodes are near the fungi, as the worms release characteristic compounds (ascarosides) that the fungi recognize and respond to. This induces the fungi, which normally feed on dissolved organic matter, to eat the nearby nematodes. However, the traps are also formed in response to previously unknown compounds present in cow dung.

Ke-Qin Zhang and colleagues hypothesized that at least some of the unknown compounds could be originating from the many bacteria living in cow dung. After analysing the metabolites released by bacteria, they found that one of them, urea, induced trap formation in fungi and that certain bacteria in cow dung were particularly good at producing and releasing the compound. The researchers also discovered urea triggered trap formation through a mechanism that was different from that triggered by ascarosides. While this research suggests an interaction between bacteria and fungi, further research is needed to confirm and clarify this relationship.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms6776


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