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J Mol Biol. 2015 Nov 20;427(23):3709-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2015.07.022. Epub 2015 Aug 5.

How Myxobacteria Cooperate.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology University of Wyoming, 1000 East University Avenue, Laramie, WY 82071, USA.
2
Department of Molecular Biology University of Wyoming, 1000 East University Avenue, Laramie, WY 82071, USA. Electronic address: dwall2@uwyo.edu.

Abstract

Prokaryotes often reside in groups where a high degree of relatedness has allowed the evolution of cooperative behaviors. However, very few bacteria or archaea have made the successful transition from unicellular to obligate multicellular life. A notable exception is the myxobacteria, in which cells cooperate to perform group functions highlighted by fruiting body development, an obligate multicellular function. Like all multicellular organisms, myxobacteria face challenges in how to organize and maintain multicellularity. These challenges include maintaining population homeostasis, carrying out tissue repair and regulating the behavior of non-cooperators. Here, we describe the major cooperative behaviors that myxobacteria use: motility, predation and development. In addition, this review emphasizes recent discoveries in the social behavior of outer membrane exchange, wherein kin share outer membrane contents. Finally, we review evidence that outer membrane exchange may be involved in regulating population homeostasis, thus serving as a social tool for myxobacteria to make the cyclic transitions from unicellular to multicellular states.

KEYWORDS:

Myxococcus xanthus; cell–cell communication; cooperation; outer membrane exchange

PMID:
26254571
PMCID:
PMC4658263
DOI:
10.1016/j.jmb.2015.07.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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