Acne causing bacteria strain named after Frank Zappa

The Propionibacterium acnes type Zappae was found growing on a grapevine in Italy

A strain of acne causing bacteria has been named after Frank Zappa.

Scientists at at Italy’s Centre for Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems and Bioresources have named the Propionibacterium acnes type P. Zappae after the experimental rock musician, who passed away in 1993.

Researchers found a form of the bacteria in grapevines and elected to call it Zappae in tribute to the star, reports USA Today. Their report states that it came about from the unique transfer of human bacteria onto a plant.


Gail Zappa – Frank’s widow – said of the scientific discovery: “For me this is just an extension of Frank’s means of gluing things together, making sense of the universe. It’s strictly conceptual continuity.”

Speaking to CNN, one of the people involved in the discovery explained where the idea came from. “Frank Zappa was a very eccentric musician and somehow very unexpected in his behavior,” said Andrea Campisano, lead author of the research. “We really did not expect this (discovery) and we thought of him.”

P. Zappae is not the first time that Zappa has inspired the name of a new discover. The musician has provided inspiration for a mollusk, a new type of fish plus jellyfish and spiders in the past 40 years. There is also an asteroid named 3834 Zappafrank after the rock legend.