Effects of exopolysaccharide production on liquid vegetative growth, stress survival, and stationary phase recovery in Myxococcus xanthus

Wei Hu, Jing Wang, Ian Howard Mchardy, Renate Lux, Zhe Yang, Yuezhong Li, Wenyuan Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exopolysaccharide (EPS) of Myxococcus xanthus is a well-regulated cell surface component. In addition to its known functions for social motility and fruiting body formation on solid surfaces, EPS has also been proposed to play a role in multi-cellular clumping in liquid medium, though this phenomenon has not been well studied. In this report, we confirmed that M. xanthus clumps formed in liquid were correlated with EPS levels and demonstrated that the EPS encased cell clumps exhibited biofilm-like structures. The clumps protected the cells at physiologically relevant EPS concentrations, while cells lacking EPS exhibited significant reduction in long-term viability and resistance to stressful conditions. However, excess EPS production was counterproductive to vegetative growth and viable cell recovery declined in extended late stationary phase as cells became trapped in the matrix of clumps. Therefore, optimal EPS production by M. xanthus is important for normal physiological functions in liquid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiology
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • exopolysaccharide
  • Myxococcus xanthus
  • stationary phase recovery
  • stress survival
  • vegetative growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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