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25 BIO 32R Myxococcus development

25 BIO 32R Myxococcus development - BIO 326R Myxococcus...

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BIO 326R Myxococcus development
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Myxococcus background Myxococcus is a genus of bacteria Many different species, but M. xanthus is most studied. Myxococcus bacteria are gram negative rods (it’s a distant relative of E. coli ) They are in some sense, microbial predators: they usually live in soil where they secrete enzymes and chemicals which cause the death and lysis of other microbes. They feed primarily off of amino acids derived from killed bacteria. The secretion is only effective when the enzymes and chemicals are present at high levels, usually requiring a large number of bacteria. Small numbers of bacteria can’t secrete enough to be effective at killing. Movement is usually through gliding, leaving a slime trail. When a location is depleted in nutrients, large numbers of myxococcus will aggregate and form a fruiting body . The fruiting body is macroscopic. The fruiting body allows the bacteria to travel longer distances in large numbers
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Myxococcus In culture, fruiting body formation can be induced through nutrient deprivation If supplied with plenty of nutrients, growth will be vegetative (simple cell division), with gliding motility and secretion of microbial toxins. Motility is coordinated between the bacteria, the movement occurs in waves or ripples or swarms. This might serve to allow them to move together, keeping the local concentration of toxins high (or, they hunt in packs).
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