Scientists discovered a giant bacterium in Guadeloupe

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Scientists have discovered the world’s largest known bacterium, a vermicelli-shaped organism ,which comes in the form of white filaments the size of human eyelashe. It was discovered in a swamp in Guadeloupe, a French archipelago in the Caribbean. Thiomargarita magnifica, is roughly 50 times larger than all other known giant bacteria and the first to be visible with the naked eye. The organism was discovered by Olivier Gros, a marine biology professor at the Université des Antilles in Guadeloupe.

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The bacterium was also found to contain three times as many genes as most bacteria and hundreds of thousands of genome copies spread throughout each cell. The bacteria have not yet been found in other locations and had even disappeared from the original site. A normal bacterial species measures 1-5 micrometers long. Caribbean mangrove swamps are packed with organic matter, with microbes in the sediment degrading this matter and producing high concentrations of sulfur. These bacteria can’t even rightly be called microbes, because microbes are by definition microscopic.