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Cooperation and Cheating among Germinating Spores

Pande, S and Pérez Escriva, P and Yu, Y-TN and Sauer, U and Velicer, GJ (2020) Cooperation and Cheating among Germinating Spores. In: Current Biology . (In Press)

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.08.091


Many microbes produce stress-resistant spores to survive unfavorable conditions 1�4 and enhance dispersal 1, 5. Cooperative behavior is integral to the process of spore formation in some species 3, 6, but the degree to which germination of spore populations involves social interactions remains little explored. Myxococcus xanthus is a predatory soil bacterium that upon starvation forms spore-filled multicellular fruiting bodies that often harbor substantial diversity of endemic origin 7, 8. Here we demonstrate that germination of M. xanthus spores formed during fruiting-body development is a social process involving at least two functionally distinct social molecules. Using pairs of natural isolates each derived from a single fruiting body that emerged on soil, we first show that spore germination exhibits positive density dependence due to a secreted �public-good� germination factor. Further, we find that a germination defect of one strain under saline stress in pure culture is complemented by addition of another strain that germinates well in saline environments and mediates cheating by the defective strain. Glycine betaine, an osmo-protectant utilized in all domains of life, is found to mediate saline-specific density dependence and cheating. Density dependence in non-saline conditions is mediated by a distinct factor, revealing socially complex spore germination involving multiple social molecules. © 2020 The Authors Pande et al. demonstrate that germination of M. xanthus spores is a socially multifaceted process mediated by multiple diffusible public-good molecules. © 2020 The Authors

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Current Biology
Publisher: Cell Press
Additional Information: copyright for this article belongs to Cell Press
Keywords: density dependence osmotic stress public goods social evolution spore germination myxobacteria glycine betaine
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Microbiology & Cell Biology
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2020 11:39
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2020 11:39
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/67053

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