Secretion of sugar polymers modulates multicellularity in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus

Research by INRS (Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique) Professor Salim Timo Islam has revealed that multicellular physiology in the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus–a bacterium that can actively reorganize its community according to the environment in which it is found–is modulated by the secretion of two natural sugar polymers in separate zones of a swarm. Results from their research, done in collaboration with an international team, have been published in the journal PLOS Biology.