Spatial organization of Myxococcus xanthus during fruiting body formation

Patrick D. Curtis, Rion G. Taylor, Roy D. Welch, Lawrence J. Shimkets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Microcinematography was used to examine fruiting body development of Myxococcus xanthus. Wild-type cells progress through three distinct phases: a quiescent phase with some motility but little aggregation (0 to 8 h), a period of vigorous motility leading to raised fruiting bodies (8 to 16 h), and a period of maturation during which sporulation is initiated (16 to 48 h). Fruiting bodies are extended vertically in a series of tiers, each involving the addition of a cell monolayer on top of the uppermost layer. A pilA (MXAN_5783) mutant produced less extracellular matrix material and thus allowed closer examination of tiered aggregate formation. A csgA (MXAN_1294) mutant exhibited no quiescent phase, aberrant aggregation in phase 2, and disintegration of the fruiting bodies in the third phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9126-9130
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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