Lightning Induced Gene Transfer
Extensive lightning strikes over the surface of our planet and over time might have induced gene transfer between microorganisms by a mechanism similar to that of electroporation, where the electrical current forms pores and the electrical field electrophoeretically moves DNA. We have shown that bacteria can uptake DNA in soil during laboratory-scale lightning strikes. We are now looking at the potential to bioremediate soil by injecting the appropriate gene into indigenous microorganisms (see recent paper below). We are also looking at different aspects concerning lightning's effects on soil microbial communities (click to see video)
Lyon, D. Y., Pivetal, J., Blanchard, L. and Vogel, T. M. 2010. Bioremediation via
In Situ Electrotransformation, Bioremediation Journal, 14: 2, 109-119
Cérémonie H., Buret F., Simonet P. and Vogel T.M. 2006. Natural electrotransformation of lightning-competent Pseudomonas sp. strain N3 in artificial soil microcosms. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 72: 2385-2389.
Cérémonie H., Buret F., Simonet P. and Vogel T. M. 2004. Isolation of lightning-competent soil bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70: 6342-6346.
Demanèche S., Bertolla F., Buret F., Nalin R., Sailland A., Auriol P., Vogel T.M. and Simonet P. 2001. Laboratory-scale evidence for lightning-mediated gene transfer in soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67: 3440-3444.