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Linking single-cell decisions to collective behaviours in social bacteria

Abstract : Social bacteria display complex behaviours whereby thousands of cells collectively and dramatically change their form and function in response to nutrient availability and changing environmental conditions. In this review, we focus on Myxococcus xanthus motility, which supports spectacular transitions based on prey availability across its life cycle. A large body of work suggests that these behaviours require sensory capacity implemented at the single-cell level. Focusing on recent genetic work on a core cellular pathway required for single-cell directional decisions, we argue that signal integration, multi-modal sensing and memory are at the root of decision making leading to multicellular behaviours. Hence, Myxococcus may be a powerful biological system to elucidate how cellular building blocks cooperate to form sensory multicellular assemblages, a possible origin of cognitive mechanisms in biological systems. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Basal cognition: conceptual tools and the view from the single cell’.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03216652
Contributor : Delphine Leroi <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 11:30:45 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 3:35:08 AM

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Céline Dinet, Alphée Michelot, Julien Herrou, Tâm Mignot. Linking single-cell decisions to collective behaviours in social bacteria. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Royal Society, The, 2021, 376 (1820), pp.20190755. ⟨10.1098/rstb.2019.0755⟩. ⟨hal-03216652⟩

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