Pores, signals and programmed cell death in Myxococcus xanthus
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Some bacteria escape starvation and other environmental stresses by differentiating specialized cell types. Prokaryotic developmental cycles can be divided into three main types based on the functions of the specialized cells (1) dormancy as observed in endospores of Bacillus (2) nutrient acquisition by cyanobacterial heterocysts, and (3) dispersal achieved by motile swarmer cells in Caulobacter. Several life cycles, including those of Bacillus, Myxococcus, Caulobacter, Streptomyces, and Anabaena have been discussed here. Brief overviews of genetic regulators that control the various stages of the developmental cycle have also been provided.