Combining high-resolution single cell tracking experiments with numerical simulations, we show that starvation-induced fruiting body (FB) formation in Myxococcus xanthus is a phase separation driven by cells that tune their motility over time. The phase separation can be understood in terms of cell density and a dimensionless Peclet number that captures cell motility through speed and reversal frequency. Our work suggests that M. xanthus take advantage of a self-driven nonequilibrium phase transition that can be controlled at the single cell level.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Sep 18 2017|
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