The function of fimbriae in Myxococcus xanthus. II. The role of fimbriae in cell-cell interactions

Canadian Journal of Microbiology
W J DobsonT H MacRae


Anti-fimbriae antiserum specifically inhibited swarming but no gliding motility per se in Myxococcus xanthus. However, formation of motile aggregates on agar and clumps in liquid media correlated with the presence of fimbriae. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid which inhibited swarming also inhibited fimbriae formation. Direct electron-microscopic observations revealed that fimbriae establish contact with apposing cell surfaces. Intact but not depolymerized fimbriae exhibited hemagglutination activity against guinea pig erythrocytes. This activity was inhibited by mannose, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, and to a lesser degree by fructose, raffinose, melibiose, and alpha-methyl-D-mannoside. It is concluded that fimbriae are organelles which function to establish and maintain intercellular contacts, perhaps by a lectin-like function, during the coordinated movement of cell aggregates' (swarming) in myxobacteria. This hypothesis is supported by the observations of other workers that genes determining movement of cells in groups also control fimbriation in M. xanthus.


Oct 24, 2006·Journal of Bacteriology·Marielena ChaviraWenyuan Shi
Jan 7, 2014·Journal of Bacteriology·Xueming WeiD Wall
Jan 1, 1983·Critical Reviews in Microbiology·G W Jones, R E Isaacson
Jan 1, 1987·Critical Reviews in Microbiology·L J Shimkets
Jul 9, 2002·Microbiology·Rhonda I HobbMichael P Jennings
Apr 27, 1999·Molecular Microbiology·D Wall, D Kaiser

Related Concepts

Cell Motility
Immune Sera
Myxococcus xanthus

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Sexual Dimorphism in Neurodegeneration

There exist sex differences in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. For instance, multiple sclerosis is more common in women, whereas Parkinson’s disease is more common in men. Here is the latest research on sexual dimorphism in neurodegeneration

HLA Genetic Variation

HLA genetic variation has been found to confer risk for a wide variety of diseases. Identifying these associations and understanding their molecular mechanisms is ongoing and holds promise for the development of therapeutics. Find the latest research on HLA genetic variation here.

Super-resolution Microscopy

Super-resolution microscopy is the term commonly given to fluorescence microscopy techniques with resolutions that are not limited by the diffraction of light. Here are the latest discoveries pertaining to super-resolution microscopy.

Genetic Screens in iPSC-derived Brain Cells

Genetic screening is a critical tool that can be employed to define and understand gene function and interaction. This feed focuses on genetic screens conducted using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived brain cells.

Brain Lower Grade Glioma

Low grade gliomas in the brain form from oligodendrocytes and astrocytes and are the slowest-growing glioma in adults. Discover the latest research on these brain tumors here.

CD4/CD8 Signaling

Cluster of differentiation 4 and 8 (CD8 and CD8) are glycoproteins founds on the surface of immune cells. Here is the latest research on their role in cell signaling pathways.

Alignment-free Sequence Analysis Tools

Alignment-free sequence analyses have been applied to problems ranging from whole-genome phylogeny to the classification of protein families, identification of horizontally transferred genes, and detection of recombined sequences. Here is the latest research.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.