Streptomyces morphogenetics: dissecting differentiation in a filamentous bacterium

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Jan;7(1):36-49. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1968.


During the life cycle of the filamentous bacteria Streptomyces, morphological differentiation is closely integrated with fundamental growth and cell-cycle processes, as well as with truly complex multicellular behaviour that involves hormone-like extracellular signalling and coordination with an extraordinarily diverse secondary metabolism. Not only are the bacterial cytoskeleton and the machineries for cell-wall assembly, cell division and chromosome segregation reorganized during sporulation, but the developmental programme of these fascinating organisms also has many unusual elements, including the formation of a sporulating aerial mycelium and the production of a surfactant peptide and a hydrophobic sheath that allow cells to escape from the surface tension of the growth medium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Morphogenesis
  • Streptomyces / cytology*
  • Streptomyces / physiology*