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Harwood, Adrian ORCID: and Baldwin, Amy ORCID: 2018. Dictyostelium. Encyclopedia of Microbiology (Fourth Edition), Elsevier, pp. 18-27. (10.1016/B978-0-12-809633-8.13033-X)

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The Dictyostelid social amoebae have an unusual biological behavior that spans the borderline between uni- and multicellularity. However at the molecular level they have strong similarities to animals, and present a good model for the study of many aspects of cell biology, cell differentiation, and morphogenesis. Dictyostelids have adapted to colonize almost every corner of the globe, where they grow as single-celled amoebae feeding on bacteria. However they can survive periods when their food source becomes depleted by coming together into multicellular structures. First, they move together to form aggregates that, as motile slugs, seek a good spot for spore dispersal. Next, they build structures to raise the spores above the substrate for better dispersal. Intricate cell-to-cell communication systems organize the formation of these structures and offer an excellent opportunity for studying coordinated cell migration and cell differentiation. In this article we first discuss the taxonomy and ecology of the dictyostelids as a group. This is followed by a discussion of the major laboratory species Dictyostelium discoideum, and what we have learnt about the cell and developmental biology.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 978-0-12-809633-8
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 07:19

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