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J Bacteriol. 2007 Dec;189(24):9126-30. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Spatial organization of Myxococcus xanthus during fruiting body formation.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


Microcinematography was used to examine fruiting body development of Myxococcus xanthus. Wild-type cells progress through three distinct phases: a quiescent phase with some motility but little aggregation (0 to 8 h), a period of vigorous motility leading to raised fruiting bodies (8 to 16 h), and a period of maturation during which sporulation is initiated (16 to 48 h). Fruiting bodies are extended vertically in a series of tiers, each involving the addition of a cell monolayer on top of the uppermost layer. A pilA (MXAN_5783) mutant produced less extracellular matrix material and thus allowed closer examination of tiered aggregate formation. A csgA (MXAN_1294) mutant exhibited no quiescent phase, aberrant aggregation in phase 2, and disintegration of the fruiting bodies in the third phase.

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