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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2004 Dec;7(6):594-601.

Building filaments in the air: aerial morphogenesis in bacteria and fungi.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology, John Innes Centre, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK.


To disperse their spores to new sites, filamentous fungi and bacteria need to erect aerial filaments, which develop into fruiting bodies and spore-bearing structures. The first challenge to aerial development is breaking surface tension at an aqueous-air interface, and in both groups of microorganisms, surface-active proteins take part in the initiation of aerial morphogenesis. Comparative analysis of fungi and bacteria is providing new insights into the means by which aerial filamentation is accomplished.

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