One of the world’s smallest predators, Myxococcus Xanthus, engulfs and devours other bacteria by traveling in a wave, and scientists have figured out how.
“When the cells at the edge of the colony are moving outward, they are unlikely to encounter another M. xanthus cell, so they keep moving forward,” says lead author Oleg Igoshin, assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice University.
“When they are traveling the other way, back toward the rest of the colony, they are likely to encounter other cells of their kind, and when they pass beside one of these and touch, they get the signal to turn around.”
Full story at Futurity.
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Photo credit: Z. Vaksman, H. Kaplan/UT Medical School at Houston