Chemosensory systems (CSS) are complex regulatory pathways capable of perceiving external signals and translating them into different cellular behaviors such as motility and development. In the δ-proteobacterium Myxococcus xanthus, chemosensing allows groups of cells to orient themselves and aggregate into specialized multicellular biofilms termed fruiting bodies. M. xanthus contains eight predicted CSS and 21 chemoreceptors. In this work, we systematically deleted genes encoding components of each CSS and chemoreceptors and determined their effects on M. xanthus social behaviors. Then, to understand how the 21 chemoreceptors are distributed among the eight CSS, we examined their phylogenetic distribution, genomic organization and subcellular localization. We found that, in vivo, receptors belonging to the same phylogenetic group colocalize and interact with CSS components of the respective phylogenetic group. Finally, we identified a large chemosensory module formed by three interconnected CSS and multiple chemoreceptors and showed that complex behaviors such as cell group motility and biofilm formation require regulatory apparatus composed of multiple interconnected Che-like systems. © 2014 Moine et al.
Moine, A., Agrebi, R., Espinosa, L., Kirby, J. R., Zusman, D. R., Mignot, T., & Mauriello, E. M. F. (2014). Functional Organization of a Multimodular Bacterial Chemosensory Apparatus. PLoS Genetics, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004164