Shimoyama, T., Kato, S., Ishii, S., Watanabe, K.
Flagellum Mediates Symbiosis
Science. 2009 Mar 20; 323(5921): 1574.
We report here molecular mechanisms underlying a bacteria-archaeon symbiosis. We found that a fermentative bacterium used its flagellum for interaction with a specific methanogenic archaeon. The archaeon perceived a bacterial flagellum protein and activated its metabolism (methanogenesis). Transcriptome analyses showed that a substantial number of genes in the archaeon, including those involved in the methanogenesis pathway, were up-regulated after the contact with the flagellum protein. These findings suggest that the bacterium communicates with the archaeon by using its flagellum.