Microbial Colony On Your Tongue Cells

Different types of microbes clustered in patches around individual cells on the tongue’s surface. Scientists investigate the organization of the tongue microbiome at micron scales. Some bacteria were common and found nearly in all samples and occupied roughly the same regions around tongue cells.

Image: Wilbert et al., Cell Rep 2020

Actinomyces (red), were typically present at the core of the structure, close to the human cell. On the other hand, Rothia (blue), present in large patches toward the outside of the biofilm and Streptococcus formed a thin outer layer. Actinomyces and Rothia is important for converting dietary nitrate, a compound abundant in leafy green vegetables, to nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and can help regulate blood pressure.

Article: Wilbert et al., Spatial Ecology of the Human Tongue Dorsum Microbiome. Cell Rep. 2020

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