Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26115814
Biochimie 2015 Nov;118:365-367
In attempts to induce putative temperate viruses, we UV-irradiated cells of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrobaculum oguniense. Virus replication could not be detected; however, we observed the development of pyramidal structures with 6-fold symmetry on the cell surface. The hexagonal basis of the pyramids was continuous with the cellular cytoplasmic membrane and apparently grew via the gradual expansion of the 6 triangular lateral faces, ultimately protruding through the S-layer. When the base of these isosceles triangles reached approximately 200 nm in length, the pyramids opened like flower petals. The origin and function of these mysterious nanostructures remain unknown.