A search of the M1genome sequence, which includes 97% of the Myxococcus xanthus genes, identified 53 sequence homologs of σ54-dependent enhancer binding proteins (EBPs). A DNA microarray was constructed from the M1genome that includes those homologs and 318 other M. xanthus genes for comparison. To screen the developmental program with this array, an RNA extract from growing cells was compared with one prepared from developing cells at 12 h. Previous reporter studies had shown that M. xanthus has initiated development and has begun to express many developmentally regulated genes by 12 h. The comparison revealed substantial increases in the expression levels of 11 transcription factors that may respond to environmental stimuli. Six of the 53 EBP homologs were expressed at significantly higher levels at 12 h of development than during growth. Three were previously unknown genes, and they were inactivated to look for effects on fruiting body development. One knockout mutant produced fruiting bodies of abnormal shape that depended on the composition of the medium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology