This Is Why A Pimple-Causing Bug Has Been Named After Musician Frank Zappa

Frank Zapper in 1978. Photo: Getty

Scientists have named an acne-causing bacteria after the rock musician Frank Zappa.

They called the bacterium P. Zappae after the Italian term zappa, meaning, hoe, as well as a tribute to eclectic composer Frank Zappa.

Zappa once wrote of “sand-blasted zits” in a song, Jewish Princess, from his 1979 Sheik Yerbouti album.

Researchers Andrea Campisano and Omar Rota-Stabelli who published their research in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, say the bacteria was found living in grapevines:

“This bacteria is so unconventional in its behaviour, and its new habitat is so unexpected that we thought of Frank Zappa. Indeed, at the time we were discovering it, we were both playing a Zappa album in our cars.”

The bacterium was found by the research team when analysing samples from the stems of plants in Northeast Italy.

This is the first evidence of human-to-plant obligate transfer and gives new perspective of bacteria host transfer between humans and domesticated plants.

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