Home News About Us Contact Contributors Disclaimer Privacy Policy Help FAQ

Quick Search
My eDoc
Session History
Support Wiki
Direct access to
document ID:

          Institute: MPI für Entwicklungsbiologie     Collection: Abteilung 1 - Protein Evolution (A. Lupas)     Display Documents

ID: 176010.0, MPI für Entwicklungsbiologie / Abteilung 1 - Protein Evolution (A. Lupas)
Evolution of novel cooperative swarming in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus.
Authors:Velicer, Gregory J.; Yu, Yuen-tsu N.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2003
Title of Journal:Nature
Start Page:75
End Page:78
Review Status:not specified
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:Cooperation among individuals is necessary for evolutionary transitions to higher levels of biological organization. In such transitions, groups of individuals at one level (such as single cells) cooperate to form selective units at a higher level (such as multicellular organisms). Though the evolution of cooperation is difficult to observe directly in higher eukaryotes, microorganisms do offer such an opportunity. Here we report the evolution of novel cooperative behaviour in experimental lineages of the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. Wild-type strains of M. xanthus exhibit socially dependent swarming across soft surfaces by a mechanism known as 'S-motility' that requires the presence of extracellular type IV pili. In lineages of M. xanthus unable to make pili, a new mechanistic basis for cooperative swarming evolved. Evolved swarming is mediated, at least in part, by enhanced production of an extracellular fibril matrix that binds cells-and their evolutionary interests-together. Though costly to individuals, fibril production greatly enhanced population expansion in groups of interconnected cells. These results show that fundamental transitions to primitive cooperation can readily occur in bacteria.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Affiliations:MPI für Entwicklungsbiologie/Abteilung 1 - Proteinevolution (Andrei Lupas)
The scope and number of records on eDoc is subject to the collection policies defined by each institute - see "info" button in the collection browse view.