Medical College of Wisconsin
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Deciphering the hunting strategy of a bacterial wolfpack. FEMS Microbiol Rev 2009 Sep;33(5):942-57

Date

06/13/2009

Pubmed ID

19519767

Pubmed Central ID

PMC2774760

DOI

10.1111/j.1574-6976.2009.00185.x

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-68149094083   128 Citations

Abstract

Myxococcus xanthus is a common soil bacterium with an intricate multicellular lifestyle that continues to challenge the way in which we conceptualize the capabilities of prokaryotic organisms. Myxococcus xanthus is the preferred laboratory representative from the Myxobacteria, a family of organisms distinguished by their ability to form highly structured biofilms that include tentacle-like packs of surface-gliding cell groups, synchronized rippling waves of oscillating cells and massive spore-filled aggregates that protrude upwards from the substratum to form fruiting bodies. But most of the Myxobacteria are also predators that thrive on the degradation of macromolecules released through the lysis of other microbial cells. The aim of this review is to examine our understanding of the predatory life cycle of M. xanthus. We will examine the multicellular structures formed during contact with prey, and the molecular mechanisms utilized by M. xanthus to detect and destroy prey cells. We will also examine our understanding of microbial predator-prey relationships and the prospects for how bacterial predation mechanisms can be exploited to generate new antimicrobial technologies.

Author List

Berleman JE, Kirby JR

Author

John Kirby PhD Chair, Center Associate Director, Professor in the Microbiology and Immunology department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Bacterial Proteins
Bacteriolysis
Chemotaxis
Food Chain
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Myxococcus xanthus
Spores, Bacterial