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Article

Cellular Dynamics Drives the Emergence of Supracellular Structure in the Cyanobacterium, Phormidium sp. KS

1
Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Komaba 3-8-1, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan
2
Department of Social Engineering, School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ookayama 2-12-1, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Life 2014, 4(4), 819-836; https://doi.org/10.3390/life4040819
Received: 13 October 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
Motile filamentous cyanobacteria, such as Oscillatoria, Phormidium and Arthrospira, are ubiquitous in terrestrial and aquatic environments. As noted by Nägeli in 1860, many of them form complex three-dimensional or two-dimensional structures, such as biofilm, weed-like thalli, bundles of filaments and spirals, which we call supracellular structures. In all of these structures, individual filaments incessantly move back and forth. The structures are, therefore, macroscopic, dynamic structures that are continuously changing their microscopic arrangement of filaments. In the present study, we analyzed quantitatively the movement of individual filaments of Phormidium sp. KS grown on agar plates. Junctional pores, which have been proposed to drive cell movement by mucilage/slime secretion, were found to align on both sides of each septum. The velocity of movement was highest just after the reversal of direction and, then, attenuated exponentially to a final value before the next reversal of direction. This kinetics is compatible with the “slime gun” model. A higher agar concentration restricts the movement more severely and, thus, resulted in more spiral formation. The spiral is a robust form compatible with non-homogeneous movements of different parts of a long filament. We propose a model of spiral formation based on the microscopic movement of filaments. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanobacteria; Phormidium; supracellular structure; biofilm; spiral formation; emergence of order; slime gun model cyanobacteria; Phormidium; supracellular structure; biofilm; spiral formation; emergence of order; slime gun model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sato, N.; Katsumata, Y.; Sato, K.; Tajima, N. Cellular Dynamics Drives the Emergence of Supracellular Structure in the Cyanobacterium, Phormidium sp. KS. Life 2014, 4, 819-836. https://doi.org/10.3390/life4040819

AMA Style

Sato N, Katsumata Y, Sato K, Tajima N. Cellular Dynamics Drives the Emergence of Supracellular Structure in the Cyanobacterium, Phormidium sp. KS. Life. 2014; 4(4):819-836. https://doi.org/10.3390/life4040819

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sato, Naoki, Yutaro Katsumata, Kaoru Sato, and Naoyuki Tajima. 2014. "Cellular Dynamics Drives the Emergence of Supracellular Structure in the Cyanobacterium, Phormidium sp. KS" Life 4, no. 4: 819-836. https://doi.org/10.3390/life4040819

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