Exopolysaccharide – a template for multicellular structures
Multicellular activities of myxobacteria and exopolysaccharide
Bacteria are particularly good at producing large number of cells. It should be no surprise, therefore, that bacteria have learnt to use these large numbers, to engage in multicellular behavior. Quorum sensing and biofilm formation are well-know, mainstream examples, but myxobacteria have developed multicellularity even further. They colonize surfaces in a coordinated, swarm-like way and they are able to form fruiting bodies. Berleman and colleagues now demonstrated that the production of exopolysaccharide as a structural matrix is an essential prerequisite for swarm-like migrations. An involvement of exopolysaccharide in fruiting body formation is also very likely but not ultimately proven.