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Spatial simulations of myxobacterial development

By Antony Holmes, Sara Kalvala and David E. Whitworth


Understanding how relatively simple, single cell bacteria can communicate and coordinate their actions is important for explaining how complex multicellular behaviour can emerge without a central controller. Myxobacteria are particularly interesting in this respect because cells undergo multiple phases of coordinated behaviour during their life-cycle. One of the most fascinating and complex phases is the formation of fruiting bodies—large multicellular aggregates of cells formed in response to starvation. In this article we use evidence from the latest experimental data to construct a computational model explaining how cells can form fruiting bodies. Both in our model and in nature, cells move together in dense swarms, which collide to form aggregation centres. In particular, we show that it is possible for aggregates to form spontaneously where previous models require artificially induced aggregates to start the fruiting process

Topics: QR
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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