TitleSelf-Driven Phase Transitions Drive Myxococcus xanthus Fruiting Body Formation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLiu G, Patch A, Bahar F, Yllanes D, Welch RD, M Marchetti C, Thutupalli S, Shaevitz JW
JournalPhys Rev Lett
Date Published2019 Jun 21
KeywordsCell Movement, Myxococcus xanthus, Phase Transition

Combining high-resolution single cell tracking experiments with numerical simulations, we show that starvation-induced fruiting body formation in Myxococcus xanthus is a phase separation driven by cells that tune their motility over time. The phase separation can be understood in terms of cell density and a dimensionless Péclet number that captures cell motility through speed and reversal frequency. Our work suggests that M. xanthus takes advantage of a self-driven nonequilibrium phase transition that can be controlled at the single cell level.

Alternate JournalPhys. Rev. Lett.
PubMed ID31322369