Letter | Published:

Tryptic destruction of aggregative competence in Dictyostelium discoideum and subsequent recovery


WHEN they reach the stationary phase, the vegetative cells of Dictyostelium discoideum become adhesive and form multicellular aggregates before forming fruiting bodies. In shaken liquid suspension they form aggregates in two stages1. First, they produce loose amorphous clusters which, if deposited on a solid substratum, immediately disperse. In the second stage (6–7 h) the clusters have become tight, round or ovoid aggregates eventually covered with a thin cortical sheath. If deposited on solid substratum, they remain intact and immediately proceed to the next stage of fruiting body construction. The loose clusters are EDTA-sensitive, the tight aggregates are not2.

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