From Cell Differentiation to Cell Collectives: Bacillus subtilis Uses Division of Labor to Migrate
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Citationvan Gestel, Jordi, Hera Vlamakis, and Roberto Kolter. 2015. “From Cell Differentiation to Cell Collectives: Bacillus subtilis Uses Division of Labor to Migrate.” PLoS Biology 13 (4): e1002141. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002141.
AbstractThe organization of cells, emerging from cell–cell interactions, can give rise to collective properties. These properties are adaptive when together cells can face environmental challenges that they separately cannot. One particular challenge that is important for microorganisms is migration. In this study, we show how flagellum-independent migration is driven by the division of labor of two cell types that appear during Bacillus subtilis sliding motility. Cell collectives organize themselves into bundles (called “van Gogh bundles”) of tightly aligned cell chains that form filamentous loops at the colony edge. We show, by time-course microscopy, that these loops migrate by pushing themselves away from the colony. The formation of van Gogh bundles depends critically on the synergistic interaction of surfactin-producing and matrix-producing cells. We propose that surfactin-producing cells reduce the friction between cells and their substrate, thereby facilitating matrix-producing cells to form bundles. The folding properties of these bundles determine the rate of colony expansion. Our study illustrates how the simple organization of cells within a community can yield a strong ecological advantage. This is a key factor underlying the diverse origins of multicellularity.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:16120846