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Strain between strains: antagonism and compatibility in myxobacteria development

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posted on 13.05.2022, 21:46 by Jack GovaertsJack Govaerts

Multicellularity is commonly thought to only occur in eukaryotes, but this view is not accurate. Myxobacteria are prokaryotes that, when under starvation, form multicellular fruiting bodies through cells aggregating, as opposed to the more common eukaryote strategy of clonal expansion from a single fertilized cell. However, because the cells that compose the fruiting body have to be assembled from the environment, myxobacteria need to discriminate kin from non-kin to prevent non-kin from exploiting the benefits of forming multicellular fruiting bodies and differentiation into germ cells-like spores.

A previous study identified antagonism mediated by reciprocal toxin exchange as the key determinant of social compatibility in Myxococcus xanthus during vegetative growth. Here we tested whether these toxin systems are key determinants of compatibility during fruiting body development. Utilizing strains from three separate lineages, we found that the type 6 secretion system is the primary determinant of antagonism between strains from different clades. However, it was not the only determinant of antagonism. Although removing its function changed which strains won or lost, there was still clear antagonism in all experiments.

Funding

National Institute of Health grant GM101449

National Institute of Health grant GM140886

National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number P20GM103432

History

Advisor

Wall, Daniel; Weltzer, Michael

Degree

Bachelor's

Graduation date

14/05/2022

ISO

eng

Language

English

Publisher

University of Wyoming. Libraries

Department

  • Molecular Biology - MOLB
  • Microbiology - MICR