Pseudomonas Syringae - Bacteria that can create ice

The conditions in which many microorganisms can survive are truly extreme - they carry the heat, cold, no oxygen, increased pressure and much more. But some of them fell in love with extreme conditions that literally create a cold around them, turning water into ice.

We are talking about bacteria called Pseudomonas Syringae or Lilac pseudomonas. The bacteria attracted the attention of scientists when unexpectedly part of the plants in one of the farms were frosting, while other plants located nearby were covered with ice crust. Analyzes taken from the affected plants revealed the presence of a microorganism, which was subsequently called the name Pseudomonas Syringae - by the name of the Lilac Plants on which it was discovered.

Quite quickly, biologists understood that the caught bacterium has a unique feature - for example, when adding them into water, the liquid freezes much faster and at a higher temperature than should.

With a more detailed study of Pseudomonas Syringae, it turned out that the mechanism of freezing is the protein called INAZ, located on the cell wall from the outside of the bacterium. This protein serves as a peculiar center of crystallization, organizing water molecules around themselves according to a special pattern, favorable to form ice crystals. Moreover, the InaZ protein can guess the warm vibration of water molecules, lowering their temperature and increasing the crystallization rate.

The unique natural "freezer" is dangerous for agriculture: ice crystals destroy soft fabrics of plants, facilitating Pseudomonas SyringaE penetration into nutrients. But scientists suspect that the influence of bacteria on our life is much more global than previously presented.

Studies conducted in various corners of the globe revealed the presence of Pseudomonas Syringae in natural snow sediments and atmosphere. Does this mean that the culprit of the unexpected falling out of the snow into the continuous conditions for him is the bacteria of a lilac pseudomonos? Perhaps the climate of the entire planet is under the control of the invisible eyes of microorganisms? However, this hypothesis needs further research.

In the meantime, Pseudomonas Syringae is successfully used in industry to create artificial snow. For example, for ski trails at international competitions, when unexpected warming threatens to melt the ski trail. The mixture of which includes the dead bacteria Pseudomonas Syringae, poured into a special car to create artificial snow, which does not melt at elevated temperatures. And although bacteria are not alive, the InAZ protein, located on the wall on the outside, continues to function and create crystallization centers.

* Illustration is not a real image Pseudomonas Syringae