Thiomargarita Magnifica Bacteria Might be World’s Largest, Can Be Seen Without a Microscope


Thiomargarita magnifica bacteria was discovered in a Caribbean mangrove swamp in the waters off off Guadeloupe, and unlike other bacterium, this was larger than all other known by 50-times. In other words, you don’t even need a microscope to view these bacteria.



This discovery was made when scientists noticed thin white filaments growing on the surfaces of decaying mangrove leaves in shallow tropical marine mangrove swamps in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles. Since bacteria are normally only visible using a compound microscope capable of magnifying 100x – 1,000x, this one can be seen with the naked eye. Despite its size, this bacterium is more complex than you think, as its DNA is compartmentalized within membrane-bound structures. Then there’s a bizarre way to convert plastic into vanilla flavoring using lab-engineered bacteria.

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Thiomargarita Magnifica World Largest Bacteria

I found them attached to oyster shells, to leaves and branches, but also on glass bottles, plastic bottles, or ropes. They just need some hard substrate to be in contact with the sulphides and in contact with the seawater to get oxygen and CO2. The highest concentration of Thiomargarita I found was in a plastic bag – unfortunately, ”he said Prof Olivier Gros, a microbiologist with the University of the Antilles.


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