Well, this isn’t your old Darwin teacher’s evolution either, is it?:
Understanding how bacteria interact is critical to solving growing problems such as antibiotic resistance, in which infectious bacteria form defenses to thwart the medicines used to fight them.
Now, researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered that bacteria do more than just work together. Bacterial cells from different species can combine into unique hybrid cells by fusing their cell walls and membranes and sharing cellular contents, including proteins and ribonucleic acid (RNA), the molecules which regulate gene expression and control cell metabolism. In other words, the organisms exchange material and lose part of their own identity in the process…
“They mix their machinery to survive or do metabolism, and that’s kind of extraordinary, because we always assumed that each and every organism has its own independent identity and machinery,” said Papoutsakis.Julie Stewart, “ When two bacteria become one” at UDaily
Paper. (open access)
See also: Paper: Paradigm shift needed in understanding evolution of complex animals Paper: “Horizontal gene transfer and mating between diverged lineages blur species boundaries and challenge the reconstruction of evolutionary histories of species and their genomes.” A friend writes to ask, “If we don’t have common descent, and we don’t have natural selection, why do we still call it evolution?”