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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A genetic link between light response and multicellular development in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus.

The Gram-negative bacterium Myxococcus xanthus responds to blue light by producing carotenoid pigments (Car+ phenotype). Genes for carotenoid synthesis lie at two unlinked chromosomal sites, the carC and the carBA operon, but are integrated in a single "light regulon" by the action of common trans-acting regulatory elements. Three known regulatory genes are grouped together at the (light-inducible) carQRS operon. By screening the Car phenotype of a large collection of transposon-induced mutants, we have identified a new car locus that has been named carD (carD1 for the mutant allele). The carD gene product plays a critical role in the light regulon, as it is required for activation of the carQRS and carC promoters by blue light. The carD1 mutant is impaired in the (starvation-induced) developmental process that allows M. xanthus cells both to form multicellular fruiting bodies and to sporulate. Our results indicate that the carD gene product is also required for the expression of a particular set of development-specific genes that are normally activated through the action of intercellular signals.[1]


  1. A genetic link between light response and multicellular development in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. Nicolás, F.J., Ruiz-Vázquez, R.M., Murillo, F.J. Genes Dev. (1994) [Pubmed]
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