Lawrence J. Shimkets, Professor of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Georgia, will give a colloquium titled, "Emergent Behaviors in Myxococcus Xanthus" at 4:00 PM in 127 Hayes-Healy Center.
Emergent behaviors in biological systems are patterns that arise out of multiple, relatively simple interactions. A widespread example is swarming, which includes schooling fish, flocking birds, and in the microbial world, social motility. We study emergent behaviors in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. The biological pattern emerges over time due to environmental stimuli, cell-cell communication, heritable information and cell motility. Swarming is the foundation on which two more complex patterns are built. Traveling waves present a rhythmic pattern due to temporal and spatial oscillations in cell reversals, often induced by prey bacteria. Fruiting body development involves the morphogenesis of macroscopic structures containing spores. Recent work with both behaviors will be discussed.
Originally published at acms.nd.edu.