Bacteria with interesting properties discovered in the caves of Algiers

(ORDO NEWS) — Studies of underground life forms can provide information on how life may develop differently on Earth and whether it can exist on other planets.

A research team from the University of Umeå (Sweden) has discovered bacteria with a number of interesting properties in previously unexplored caves at a depth of several hundred meters in Algiers.

One such property is the breakdown of gluten, which can be important for people with gluten allergies. The results are published in Microbiology Spectrum, they were told at the university.

“This study is yet another example of the fantastic potential of microbes.

Despite intensive research, so far it has been possible to describe in detail only a small part of all microorganisms living on Earth, ”says Natushka Li, one of the authors of the study.

It is known that at least 30% of all microorganisms live deep underground – in completely different conditions than on the surface.

Studies of underground life forms provide interesting information about how life can develop differently on Earth and whether it can exist on other planets.

Caves are natural gateways to the underworld. They are all over the world, but very little has been studied.

In the last decade, cave exploration has generated a lot of interest even in the context of space exploration, as it has been found that there are many caves on some planets such as Mars.

The bacteria found in the Algerian caves are closely related to the Bacillus group, which is widely studied in the context of astrobiology due to the impressive survival abilities of these microbes.

These new options will also be important for biotechnology.

“For example, we have found strains that can produce antimicrobials or break down gluten,” says Natushka Li.


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