Self-Driven Phase Transitions Drive Myxococcus xanthus Fruiting Body Formation

Guannan Liu, Adam Patch, Fatmagül Bahar, David Yllanes, Roy Welch, M Cristina Marchetti, Shashi Thutupalli, Joshua W. Shaevitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Combining high-resolution single cell tracking experiments with numerical simulations, we show that starvation-induced fruiting body 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 Péclet number that captures cell motility through speed and reversal frequency. Our work suggests that M. xanthus takes advantage of a self-driven nonequilibrium phase transition that can be controlled at the single cell level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number248102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume122
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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  • Cite this

    Liu, G., Patch, A., Bahar, F., Yllanes, D., Welch, R., Marchetti, M. C., Thutupalli, S., & Shaevitz, J. W. (2019). Self-Driven Phase Transitions Drive Myxococcus xanthus Fruiting Body Formation. Physical Review Letters, 122(24), [248102]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.248102