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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. melliot@mcmaster.ca


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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