What with all the drought, GMOs and pesticides, you would think that vineyards have enough to deal with on a daily basis. But no, wine vines might be having as bad of a daily existence as you were in high school, because now they also have to add acne to the list.
Italian researchers have found a close-relative of the bacteria that causes acne in humans, in vines. The researchers named the bacteria P. Zappae, because yes, they love Frank Zappa, and listen to a lot of it in the lab.
What the researchers discovered is that wine has probably been dealing with the acne bacteria for quite some time. “It turns out that the most probable date is about 7,000 years ago, which is when we estimate that we started cultivating grape vines,” Andrea Campisano, lead author of the study told the LA Times. “Probably as soon as humans started to touch this plant, this bug that used to live on human skin found a very hospitable environment inside the cells of the grape vine.”
In other words, you can blame the wine acne on the fact that humans started making wine in the first place.
Fortunately though, you don’t have to worry about this affecting your glass of wine; the bacteria is in the bark and does not appear to harm the grape vines. You can therefore rest assured that the vines won’t be having a breakout any time soon. And, while oily teenager’s faces may sound much more up the bacteria’s alley than a boring grapevine, the bacteria is perfectly happy where it is; it has developed so well that it can’t make the jump back to humans.
Why is the discovery notable? Because it supports the theory that humans may be able to pass microbes to plants.
So drink up to microbes tonight when you pour yourself a glass of red.
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