A Possible Mechanism of Repressing Cheating Mutants in Myxobacteria

  • Ying Xiao
  • Winfried Just
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2723)


The formation of fruiting bodies by myxobacteria colonies involves altruistic suicide by many individual bacteria and is thus vulnerable to exploitation by cheating mutants. We report results of simulations that show how in a structured environment with patchy distribution of cheating mutants the wild type might persist.


Mutant Strain Fruiting Body Patchy Distribution Lower Motility Fruiting Body Formation 
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    Velicer, G. J., Kroos, L., Lenski, R. E.: Developmental cheating in the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. Nature 404 (2000) 598–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Velicer, G. J., Lenski, R. E., Kroos, L.: Rescue of Social Motility Lost during Evolution of Myxococcus xanthus in an Asocial Environment. J. Bacteriol. 184(10) (2002) 2719–2727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Xiao
    • 1
  • Winfried Just
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsOhio UniversityAthensUSA

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