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Lipid body formation plays a central role in cell fate determination during developmental differentiation of Myxococcus xanthus

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Citation

Hoiczyk, E., Ring, M. W., McHugh, C. A., Schwaer, G., Bode, E., Krug, D., et al. (2009). Lipid body formation plays a central role in cell fate determination during developmental differentiation of Myxococcus xanthus. MOLECULAR MICROBIOLOGY, 74(2), 497-517. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06879.x.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-04EE-6
Abstract
P>Cell differentiation is widespread during the development of multicellular organisms, but rarely observed in prokaryotes. One example of prokaryotic differentiation is the Gram-negative bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. In response to starvation, this gliding bacterium initiates a complex developmental programme that results in the formation of spore-filled fruiting bodies. How the cells metabolically support the necessary complex cellular differentiation from rod-shaped vegetative cells into spherical spores is unknown. Here, we present evidence that intracellular lipid bodies provide the necessary metabolic fuel for the development of spores. Formed at the onset of starvation, these lipid bodies gradually disappear until they are completely used up by the time the cells have become mature spores. Moreover, it appears that lipid body formation in M. xanthus is an important initial step indicating cell fate during differentiation. Upon starvation, two subpopulations of cells occur: cells that form lipid bodies invariably develop into spores, while cells that do not form lipid bodies end up becoming peripheral rods, which are cells that lack signs of morphological differentiation and stay in a vegetative-like state. These data indicate that lipid bodies not only fuel cellular differentiation but that their formation represents the first known morphological sign indicating cell fate during differentiation.