Scientists genetically manipulate Patescibacteria, a major part of microbial dark matter

Scientists have discovered how to genetically manipulate Patescibacteria, a group of bacteria that constitute a disproportionately large fraction of microbial dark matter. These bacteria are mostly epibionts, meaning they grow on other organisms. The researchers used a technique called natural competence to introduce genes into the bacteria. This technique allowed them to study the genes that are important for Patescibacteria’s growth and lifestyle. The findings could help scientists develop new ways to study and manipulate these bacteria.

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