A New Mechanism for Collective Migration in Myxococcus xanthus


Myxobacteria exhibit a complex life cycle characterized by a sequence of cell patterns that culminate in the formation of three-dimensional fruiting bodies. This paper provides indications that the specific cell shape of myxobacteria might play an important role in the different morphogenetic processes during the life cycle. We introduce a new mechanism for collective migration that can explain the formation of aligned cell clusters in myxobacteria. This mechanism does not depend on cell cooperation, and in particular it does not depend on diffusive signals guiding cell motion.

Journal of Statistical Physics