Black Forest From Above (2017) Media: Streptomyces coelicolor, Yeast Malt Extract Broth


This work reflects the apparently fractal nature of biology and its complex interconnections. What might be seen as a forest from above is a black culture (blackened by the production of pigments by the bacteria) of the soil bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor which actually resides beneath the forest, where it plays an essential ecological role in the turnover of organic material.

Streptomyces also produce a secondary metabolite called geosmin (meaning “earth smell”), a bacterial product which gives soil its characteristic earthy smell, and gives an indication of just how widespread and ubiquitous these bacteria are in the soil.

More recently, it has been shown that streptomycetes are able to live in symbiosis with plants and other organisms, and it is likely that many of the secondary metabolites produced by Streptomyces species, like geosmin, mediate their  interactions with other organisms.



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