Ever experienced smelling that calm and earthy fragrance coming from the dry ground when it is raining? I bet all of us are attracted to that pleasant odour.
Matter of fact there is a term used for that particular smell it is called Petrichor.
But why are we all are such a fan of petrichor and where does petrichor arises from?
Scientists detected that the earth smell or petrichor come from the organic compound called Geosmin, which is actually produced by microbes of the genus Streptomyces. Also, the interesting fact is Streptomyces produces Geosmin when they are dying.
So, the question arises what makes the produce Geosmin when it starts raining? And are we the only species who love the smell of petrichor?
An insect called Springtails like humans also loves the smell of petrichor. Springtails have antennae and they can sense the Geosmin produced by the Streptomyces and this helps Springtails to find the Streptomyces and later consuming them as their food.
But why would any creature produce a smell so that it could get eaten by another creature?
The thing is Streptomyces wants to be eaten by the Springtail so that after they are eaten and Springtails defecates. The spores of Streptomyces can proliferate further via the faecal pellet of Springtails. So, here we can understand how the Streptomyces are reproducing asexually.
All of this is actually a part of the lifecycle of Streptomyces.
Isn’t it amazing how nature works?
Next time when you smell petrichor remember there is a whole feast happening for the Springtails in that ground below you also the circle of rebirth for Streptomyces is also circling.