Farmer needs a … microbe?

This week sees the observation of farming by Dictyostelium discoideum, a species of amoeba.

image courtesy of M. J. Grimson and R. L. Blanton, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA via Journal of Cell Science

This amoeba is well-known for another curious behaviour: colonies of these organisms will form a fruiting body to produce spores when conditions become hostile. The spores are released to spread the organisms’ chances of survival further afield. In this instance, the amoeba was shown to ‘farm’ the bacteria that constitutes their food. This is agriculture! By microbes!!! Amazing.

More explanation at theĀ BBC Science & Tech site.

Via Slashdot.


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