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Methods Mol Biol. 2006;346:311-25.

Under-agarose chemotaxis of Dictyostelium discoideum.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA.


In the vegetative state, Dictyostelium amoebae are chemotactic toward pterins released by bacteria, whereas during multicellular development, they become chemotactic to endogenously produced cAMP. A variety of assays have been used to visualize and quantify chemotactic movement. Under-agarose chemotaxis provides a simple and flexible assay that permits high-resolution imaging and quantification of the motility behavior of individual cells and populations by both transmitted light and fluorescence microscopy. The assay requires cells to deform a solid but flexible matrix; therefore, it also provides a way to measure defects in the ability of mutant cells to move in these restrictive conditions.

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