A while ago, fellow microbiologist and blogger, Thomas Joseph, started a meme of sorts on his blog asking others to list their 10 favorite microbes. Quite a few bloggers put a list together, and I intended too, but for one reason or another, I never did.
Well, I'm doing it now and using it for my latest Microbe Monday installation. Over the next several weeks I will use Microbe Monday to fully geek out about why each of these organisms made the list.* For this post, I'll keep my inner-nerd contained and just give you a little hint as to why they made the list.
1. Caulobacter crescentus: strong-ass natural glue, wicked-cool asymmetrical cell division.
2. Listeria monocytogenes: utilizes an "actin rocket" for one of the most unique methods of spreading from one host cell to another. Just wait until you see the movie.**
3. Dictyostelium discoideum: Individual amoebas can work together and move as a slug. A freaking slug. It leaves a trail and everything.
4. The Bacillus cereus group species: Almost exactly the same...almost.
5. Streptomyces: Produce over half of the world's clinically useful, naturally-derived antibiotics.
6. Deinococcus radiodurans: It's the world's toughest bacterium according to The Guinness Book of World Records.
7. Bacillus subtilis: microbial cannibalism at its finest.
8. Staphylococcus aureus: Amazing ability to evade the host's immune system and strike fear into the hearts of ordinary citizens, forcing them to learn acronyms like MRSA and maybe even understand the concept of antibiotic resistance.
9. Vibrio fischeri: Quarum sensing, bioluminescence, what's not to love?
10. Escherichia coli: Come on. I don't need to explain this one.