Herpetosiphon aurantiacus is a filament-like bacterium that can rapidly glide across surfaces. H. aurantiacus are facultative predators, hunting other bacteria by secreting digestive enzymes when nutrients become scarce. Interestingly, H. aurantiacus hunts in a “wolf pack” strategy: the bacteria will not hunt unless a certain number of H. aurantiacus is present. When this number is reached, the bacteria will swarm and flood their prey with a high concentration of enzymes.
Image by Dr. Michael Shribak and Irina Arkhipova, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
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Herpetosiphon aurantiacus is a filament-like bacterium that can rapidly glide across surfaces. H. aurantiacus are facultative predators, hunting other bacteria by secreting digestive enzymes when nutrients become scarce. Interestingly, H. aurantiacus hunts in a “wolf pack” strategy: the bacteria will not hunt unless a certain number of H. aurantiacus is present. When this number is reached, the bacteria will swarm and flood their prey with a high concentration of enzymes.

Image by Dr. Michael Shribak and Irina Arkhipova, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

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    Herpetosiphon aurantiacus is a filament-like bacterium that can rapidly glide across surfaces. H. aurantiacus are...
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    The technical term for this “wolf pack” strategy is “Quorum sensing”.
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