Human Acne-Causing Bacterium Infecting Vineyards Named after Frank Zappa

Human Acne-Causing Bacterium Infecting Vineyards Named after Frank Zappa

A research group conducting research on various microorganisms living on grape plants have found a human acne-causing bacterium (P.acnes) that is now infecting vineyards.

Scientists have named the bacteria after the late Frank Zappa as Propionibacterium acnes type Zappae. The paper termed as 'Interkingdom transfer of the acne causing agent, Propionibacterium acnes, from human to grapevine' was carried out at Fondazione Edmund Mach Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems and Bioresources Department, Research and Innovation Centre, S. Michele all'Adige, Italy.

The bacterium is generally found on people's skin and feeds from fatty acids. The bacteria are considered harmless, but its presence in excess can cause acne.

When study researchers were working on the concept, they made the discovery of bacteria on grapevine. At that time, they thought the bacteria would have been present as a result of contamination, said lead author Andrea Campisano.

After looking at the nature of bacterium, the researchers remembered the style of Frank Zappa. Take it as a coincidence, when the discovery of the bacteria was made, the study researchers were playing a Zappa album.

In grapevines, P. Zappae adopted new intracellular ecological slot. Evolutionary history of P. Zappae was also studied with the help of two marker genes called recA and tly.

The results unveiled a human origin of the bacterium. In fact, a loss of function of recA was also noticed. The study has been published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.