Pattern formation: fruiting body morphogenesis in Myxococcus xanthus

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2000 Dec;3(6):637-42. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(00)00153-3.


When Myxococcus xanthus cells are exposed to starvation, they respond with dramatic behavioral changes. The expansive swarming behavior stops and the cells begin to aggregate into multicellular fruiting bodies. The cell-surface-associated C-signal has been identified as the signal that induces aggregation. Recently, several of the components in the C-signal transduction pathway have been identified and behavioral analyses are beginning to reveal how the C-signal modulates cell behavior. Together, these findings provide a framework for understanding how a cell-surface-associated morphogen induces pattern formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Myxococcus xanthus / growth & development
  • Myxococcus xanthus / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • CsgA protein, Myxococcus xanthus