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Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah

Colin Dale, University of Utah

Caption: University of Utah biologist Colin Dale swabs a petri dish containing a bacterial culture. Dale and colleagues discovered a new bacterium isolated from the infected wound of an Indiana man who impaled his hand on a tree branch. They also found that the new bacterial strain, named HS, was related to a group of bacteria that live inside insects in mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships. The discovery solved an old mystery by showing that insects domesticate bacteria by picking them up from plants or animals in their environment, not from other insects.

Credit: Lee J. Siegel, University of Utah

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Related news release: How insects domesticate bacteria

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