Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh

Journal Club

Explanatory note

The journal club is intended to be a weekly natter about interesting recent research. We tend to stick to high-impact journals - Nature, Science, PNAS and PRL have been popular - but this is not prescriptive. Given the diversity of research in the CM group, chosen topics vary widely. Anyone and everyone is welcome: if you have a paper you want to discuss, email it to me (Joe Tavacoli) and I'll slot you in.

Week beginning 17 May 2015

Friday 22 May 15 - 11:30am

From Cell Differentiation to Cell Collectives: Bacillus subtilis Uses Division of Labor to Migrate

Authors: Jordi van Gestel, Hera Vlamakis, Roberto Kolter

Speaker: Dario Dell'Arciprete

The organization of cells, emerging from cell-cell interactions, can give rise to collective properties. These properties are adaptive when together cells can face environmental challenges that they separately cannot. One particular challenge that is important for microorganisms is migration. In this study, we show how flagellum-independent migration is driven by the division of labor of two cell types that appear during Bacillus subtilis sliding motility. Cell collectives organize themselves into bundles (called "van Gogh bundles" of tightly aligned cell chains that form filamentous loops at the colony edge. We show, by time-course microscopy, that these loops migrate by pushing themselves away from the colony. The formation of van Gogh bundles depends critically on the synergistic interaction of surfactin-producing and matrix-producing cells. We propose that surfactin-producing cells reduce the friction between cells and their substrate, thereby facilitating matrix-producing cells to form bundles. The folding properties of these bundles determine the rate of colony expansion. Our study illustrates how the simple organization of cells within a community can yield a strong ecological advantage. This is a key factor underlying the diverse origins of multicellularity.
PLoS Biology 13 article e1002141 (2015)
pdf version

Upcoming meetings

Friday 29 May 15 - 11:30am - JCMB 2511

To be confirmed

Benno Liebchen

Friday 5 Jun 15 - 11:30am - JCMB 2511

To be confirmed

Simon Titmus

Friday 12 Jun 15 - 11:30am - JCMB 2511

To be confirmed

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