The unique DKxanthene secondary metabolite family from the myxobacterium Myxococcus xanthus is required for developmental sporulation.
ABSTRACT: Under starvation conditions myxobacteria form multicellular fruiting bodies in which vegetative cells differentiate into heat- and desiccation-resistant myxospores. Myxobacteria in general are a rich source of secondary metabolites that often exhibit biological activities rarely found in nature. Although the involvement of a yellow compound in sporulation and fruiting body formation of Myxococcus xanthus was described almost 30 years ago, the chemical principle of the pigment remained elusive. This work presents the isolation and structure elucidation of a unique class of pigments that were named DKxanthenes (DKX). The corresponding biosynthetic gene cluster was identified, and DKX-negative mutants were constructed to investigate the physiological role of DKX during development. In these mutants, fruiting body formation was delayed. Moreover, severely reduced amounts of viable spores were observed after 120 h of starvation, whereas no viable spores were formed at all after 72 h. The addition of purified DKX to the mutants resulted in the formation of viable spores after 72 h. Even though an antioxidative activity could be assigned to DKX, the true biochemical mechanism underlying the complementation remains to be elucidated.
Project description:Hallmarks of the myxobacteria include the formation of spore-filled fruiting bodies in response to starvation and synthesis of secondary metabolites. Myxococcus stipitatus forms morphologically highly distinct fruiting bodies and produces secondary metabolites with antibiotic or cytotoxic activities. Here, we present the 10.35-Mb genome sequence of M. stipitatus strain DSM 14675.
Project description:Corallococcus coralloides, like most other myxobacteria, undergoes a developmental program culminating in the formation of fruiting bodies. C. coralloides fruiting bodies are morphologically distinct from those of other fruiting myxobacteria for which full-length genome sequences are available. The genome sequence of the 10.0-Mb C. coralloides genome is presented herein.
Project description:The formation of spore-filled fruiting bodies by myxobacteria is a fascinating case of multicellular self-organization by bacteria. The organization of Myxococcus xanthus into fruiting bodies has long been studied not only as an important example of collective motion of bacteria, but also as a simplified model for developmental morphogenesis. Sporulation within the nascent fruiting body requires signaling between moving cells in order that the rod-shaped self-propelled cells differentiate into spores at the appropriate time. Probing the three-dimensional structure of myxobacteria fruiting bodies has previously presented a challenge due to limitations of different imaging methods. A new technique using Infrared Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) revealed previously unknown details of the internal structure of M. xanthus fruiting bodies consisting of interconnected pockets of relative high and low spore density regions. To make sense of the experimentally observed structure, modeling and computer simulations were used to test a hypothesized mechanism that could produce high-density pockets of spores. The mechanism consists of self-propelled cells aligning with each other and signaling by end-to-end contact to coordinate the process of differentiation resulting in a pattern of clusters observed in the experiment. The integration of novel OCT experimental techniques with computational simulations can provide new insight into the mechanisms that can give rise to the pattern formation seen in other biological systems such as dictyostelids, social amoeba known to form multicellular aggregates observed as slugs under starvation conditions.
Project description:Upon nutrient limitation cells of the swarming soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus form a multicellular fruiting body in which a fraction of the cells develop into myxospores. Spore development includes the transition from a rod-shaped vegetative cell to a spherical myxospore and so is expected to be accompanied by changes in the bacterial cell envelope. Peptidoglycan is the shape-determining structure in the cell envelope of most bacteria, including myxobacteria. We analyzed the composition of peptidoglycan isolated from M. xanthus. While the basic structural elements of peptidoglycan in myxobacteria were identical to those in other gram-negative bacteria, the peptidoglycan of M. xanthus had unique structural features. meso- or LL-diaminopimelic acid was present in the stem peptides, and a new modification of N-acetylmuramic acid was detected in a fraction of the muropeptides. Peptidoglycan formed a continuous, bag-shaped sacculus in vegetative cells. The sacculus was degraded during the transition from vegetative cells to glycerol-induced myxospores. The spherical, bag-shaped coats isolated from glycerol-induced spores contained no detectable muropeptides, but they contained small amounts of N-acetylmuramic acid and meso-diaminopimelic acid.
Project description:Among myxobacteria, the genus Cystobacter is known not only for fruiting body formation but also for formation of secondary metabolites, such as cystobactamids and cystothiazols. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of the Cystobacter fuscus strain DSM 52655, which comprises 12,349,744 bp and 9,836 putative protein-coding sequences.
Project description:The myxobacteria are a family of soil bacteria that form biofilms of complex architecture, aligned multilayered swarms or fruiting body structures that are simple or branched aggregates containing myxospores. Here, we examined the structural role of matrix exopolysaccharide (EPS) in the organization of these surface-dwelling bacterial cells. Using time-lapse light and fluorescence microscopy, as well as transmission electron microscopy and focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) electron microscopy, we found that Myxococcus xanthus cell organization in biofilms is dependent on the formation of EPS microchannels. Cells are highly organized within the three-dimensional structure of EPS microchannels that are required for cell alignment and advancement on surfaces. Mutants lacking EPS showed a lack of cell orientation and poor colony migration. Purified, cell-free EPS retains a channel-like structure, and can complement EPS- mutant motility defects. In addition, EPS provides the cooperative structure for fruiting body formation in both the simple mounds of M. xanthus and the complex, tree-like structures of Chondromyces crocatus. We furthermore investigated the possibility that EPS impacts community structure as a shared resource facilitating cooperative migration among closely related isolates of M. xanthus.
Project description:The formation of spore-filled fruiting bodies in response to starvation represents a hallmark of many members of the order Myxococcales Here, we present the complete 9.9-Mb genome of the fruiting type strain Melittangium boletus DSM 14713, the first member of this genus to have its genome sequenced.
Project description:Starvation induces cell aggregation in the soil bacterium Myxococcus xanthus, followed by formation of fruiting bodies packed with myxospores. Sporulation in the absence of fruiting bodies can be artificially induced by high concentrations of glycerol through unclear mechanisms. Here, we show that a compound (ambruticin VS-3) produced by a different myxobacterium, Sorangium cellulosum, affects the development of M. xanthus in a similar manner. Both glycerol (at millimolar levels) and ambruticin VS-3 (at nanomolar concentrations) inhibit M. xanthus fruiting body formation under starvation, and induce sporulation in the presence of nutrients. The response is mediated in M. xanthus by three hybrid histidine kinases (AskA, AskB, AskC) that form complexes interacting with two major developmental regulators (MrpC, FruA). In addition, AskB binds directly to the mrpC promoter in vitro. Thus, our work indicates that the AskABC-dependent regulatory pathway mediates the responses to ambruticin VS-3 and glycerol. We hypothesize that production of ambruticin VS-3 may allow S. sorangium to outcompete M. xanthus under both starvation and growth conditions in soil.
Project description:Members of the Myxococcales order initiate a developmental program in response to starvation that culminates in formation of spore-filled fruiting bodies. To investigate the genetic basis for fruiting body formation, we present the complete 8.9-Mb genome sequence of Myxococcus macrosporus strain DSM 14697, generated using the PacBio sequencing platform.
Project description:Myxobacteria, a group of Gram-negative aerobes, belong to the class ?-proteobacteria and order Myxococcales. Unlike anaerobic ?-proteobacteria, they exhibit several unusual physiogenomic properties like gliding motility, desiccation-resistant myxospores and large genomes with high coding density. Here we report a 9.5 Mbp complete genome of Myxococcus hansupus that encodes 7,753 proteins. Phylogenomic and genome-genome distance based analysis suggest that Myxococcus hansupus is a novel member of the genus Myxococcus. Comparative genome analysis with other members of the genus Myxococcus was performed to explore their genome diversity. The variation in number of unique proteins observed across different species is suggestive of diversity at the genus level while the overrepresentation of several Pfam families indicates the extent and mode of genome expansion as compared to non-Myxococcales ?-proteobacteria.