Research reveals multicellular physiology in Myxococcus xanthus bacterium

Analysis by INRS (Institut Nationwide de la Recherche Scientifique) Professor Salim Timo Islam and his PhD pupil Fares Saïdi has lately revealed that multicellular physiology within the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus.

It’s a bacterium that may actively reorganize its group in line with the setting during which it’s found–is modulated by the secretion of two pure sugar polymers in separate zones of a swarm.

Outcomes from their analysis, achieved in collaboration with a global group, have been printed within the journal PLOS Biology.

Professor Salim Timo Islam has been finishing up analysis in bacterial physiology for 4 years, specializing in the interactions of bacterial cells with one another, in addition to with underlying surfaces. Alongside along with his PhD pupil Fares Saïdi, they’re investigating the origins of multicellularity.

Extra exactly, their work revolves across the components that permit cells to multiply, specialize, talk, work together, and transfer. These behaviors are all related to multicellularity as they promote the growth of a group of cells and the formation of advanced constructions.

Their analysis has characterised two compounds contributing to multicellularity and the distinct areas of manufacturing, for every, inside a group. Exopolysaccharide (EPS) is produced extra by cells on the periphery of the swarm. Manufacturing of the second sugar polymer, a novel biosurfactant (BPS), is enriched towards the centre of the swarm.

For the reason that components contributing to the event of bacterial communities stay poorly understood, it is vitally thrilling to have recognized one other.”

Salim Timo Islam, Research Co-Writer and Professor, Specialist in Microbial Biochemistry and Institut Nationwide de Recherche Scientifique

A mannequin bacterium

Multicellularity is often related to organisms corresponding to fungi, vegetation, and animals. As a part of this examine, the researchers studied the idea for this evolutionary transition on a smaller scale: the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus.

This organism has the excellence of having the ability to reorganize the construction of its inhabitants, permitting it to react to completely different environmental indicators and even eat different micro organism.

In response to a hostile setting, corresponding to in cases of nutrient deficiency, this bacterium directs its homogenous inhabitants to specialize into three subtypes of cells. These communities thus type three-d constructions, seen to the bare eye. It’s due to this multicellular life-style that they make sure the survival of their group.


Journal reference:

Islam, S. T., et al. (2020) Modulation of bacterial multicellularity by way of spatio-specific polysaccharide secretion. PLOS Biology.

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