A global analysis of developmentally regulated genes in Myxococcus xanthus

Dev Biol. 1986 Sep;117(1):252-66. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(86)90368-4.


Tn5 lac is a transposon that fuses the transcription of lacZ to exogenous promoters. We generated 2374 Tn5 lac insertion-containing strains of Myxococcus xanthus, a soil bacterium that undergoes multicellular development which culminates in the formation of spores. Thirty-six strains were identified that specifically increase beta-galactosidase expression at some particular time during development and these expression times range from minutes after starvation initiates development to 24 hr, when sporulation begins. Different maximum levels of beta-galactosidase expression were also observed and the maximum for many strains that begin beta-galactosidase expression late in development was observed only if spores were disrupted. Seven of the 36 strains display mild to severe defects in aggregation and/or sporulation, as did an additional five strains whose beta-galactosidase expression was not developmentally regulated. Restriction maps of the DNA adjacent to the Tn5 lac insertions that are developmentally regulated and/or cause developmental defects show that most of the 41 insertions are in different regions of the Myxococcus genome. The developmentally regulated Tn5 lac insertions described here provide a set of at least 29 new developmental markers for Myxococcus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Myxococcales / cytology
  • Myxococcales / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Spores, Bacterial / genetics
  • Time Factors


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes