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Press Release 12-214

Microbial "Missing Link" Discovered After Man Impales Hand on Tree Branch

Scientists uncover how insects domesticate bacteria

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Photo of apples in a tree.

A homeowner cutting down a crab apple tree led to a new, far-reaching scientific finding.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Photo of a crab apple tree trunk.

After being impaled by part of a crab apple tree, the wounded homeowner sought help.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Photo of Biologist Colin Dale swabbing a petri dish that has a bacterial culture.

Biologist Colin Dale swabs a petri dish that has a bacterial culture from the man's wound.

Credit: Lee Siegel, University of Utah


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Microscopic image showing newly discovered bacterial strain; cell walls are red, DNA is blue.

Microscopic image showing newly discovered bacterial strain; cell walls are red, DNA is blue.

Credit: Adam Clayton, University of Utah


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Photo of grains and insects called grain weevils.

The new bacteria are related to those that live inside insects called grain weevils.

Credit: Kelley Oakeson, University of Utah


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