Navigation Links
Discovery that bacterium is phosphate gourmet key clue to what makes it most social of bacteria

New research into one of the world's most social bacteria - Myxococcus xanthus, has discovered that it has a gourmet style approach to its consumption of phosphates, which provides a key clue to what makes it the most "social" of bacteria.

Myxococcus xanthus is amazingly social and co-operative for a bacterium. It "hunts" as a pack, it makes a collective decision with other M. xanthus whether to go dormant or not, and it even has methods of policing the behaviour of individual bacteria that to try to "cheat" in the collective activity of the group. Now Dr David Whitworth from the Biological Sciences Department of the University of Warwick has also discovered that it appears to seek out and consume phosphate in a "gourmet" manner, providing important evidence as to how such a relatively simple organism is able to act in such a social manner.

Dr Whitworth looked at the signalling pathways used by the bacterium to process information to switch actions on or off. Myxococcus xanthus has an unprecedented number (around 150) of the signalling pathways known as "two component switches" which dramatically increases the level of complexity of information that can be processed by the bacterium. Dr Whitworth focussed on three previously described signalling pathways that were known to be similar to phosphate utilisation pathways (all organisms needs to consume phosphate to thrive). Until now most researchers believed that all bacteria only required one phosphate dependent signalling pathway to find the phosphate needed for consumption, and so the other two pathways found in M. xanthus simply did something else. In collaboration with Prof Mitchell Singer of the University of California at Davis, Dr Whitworth found that in fact the bacterium was using all three pathways and part of a further fourth pathway in combination, to detect and utilise phosphates, making it a very sophisticated consumer of phosphates - the bacterial equivalent of a gourmet diner.

T hat the 3 pathways act in concert probably enables the organism to find phosphates in different chemical states or environmental conditions, or even to exploit the phosphates found in other M. xanthus cells or those of potential prey organisms. Dr Whitworth found that:

The potential complexity of the information on phosphate levels the bacterium can process is significantly increased by the findings that there are three phosphate signalling pathways, with considerable interaction between the three pathways.

A further additional partial pathway also acts as a phosphate level detector - giving the bacterium even more tools to employ as a phosphate gourmet.

Dr Whitworth also has evidence that the surprising extent of interaction between the three and a half phosphate signalling pathways is also found among the other 140 plus signalling pathways of the bacterium. If three and half pathways are enough to make it a phosphate gourmet, the level of interactions between up to 150 pathways will easily be enough to give Myxococcus xanthus its precocious social skills.


'"/>

Source:University of Warwick


Related biology news :

1. Fundamental Finding Yields Insight into Stem Cells, Cancer; Opens Door to Drug Discovery
2. Discovery of key proteins shape could lead to improved bacterial pneumonia vaccine
3. UCSD Discovery Shows How Embryonic Stem Cells Perform Quality Control Inspections
4. Discovery Could Lead To Novel Approaches In HIV Treatment
5. Discovery Promises Simpler Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease
6. Discovery may lead to better Candidiasis drug
7. Protein Discovery Could Unlock The Secret To Better TB Treatment
8. Discovery clarifies role of peptide in biological clock
9. Eliminate Data Analysis Bottlenecks in Drug Discovery
10. Discovery of New Dopamine Action May Yield Alternative Psychiatric Drugs
11. Discovery could be key to bioterrorism defense
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/6/2017)... 5, 2017  Delta ID Inc., a leader in ... for automotive at CESĀ® 2017. Delta ID has collaborated ... demonstrate the use of iris scanning as a secure, ... driver in a car, and as a way to ... Delta ID and Gentex will demonstrate (booth ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... SuperCom (NASDAQ:   SPCB ), ... HealthCare, and Finance sectors announced today that Leaders in Community Alternatives ... deploy a community-based supportive services program to reduce recidivism in a ... its presence in the state. ... This new program, which is expected to commence in ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle access system market, in terms of ... 2016 to 2021. The market is estimated to be USD 442.7 ... 2021. The growth of the biometric vehicle access system market is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 /PRNewswire -- WuXi AppTec, a leading global ... technology platform, today announced that it has acquired ... drug discovery contract research organization (CRO). After completion ... subsidiary of WuXi, and will continue to focus ... services. The acquisition will further strengthen WuXi,s R&D ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., today announced that ... as chief executive officer, as well as a ... to ArmaGen more than 17 years of executive ... of biotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals. "Mathias ... experience and skillset necessary to lead ArmaGen to ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... DaVita Clinical Research ... drug and device development, and Prism Clinical Research , a leader in ... Verified Clinical Trials (VCT) has been selected by both companies as ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Opal Kelly, ... USB or PCI Express, announced the ZEM5310 USB 3.0 FPGA Module, combining a ... compact business-card sized form factor suitable for prototyping, testing, and production-ready integration. The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: