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The cellular slime mold: eukaryotic model microorganism.

Authors
  • Urushihara, Hideko
Type
Published Article
Journal
Experimental animals / Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2009
Volume
58
Issue
2
Pages
97–104
Identifiers
PMID: 19448332
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Cellular slime molds are eukaryotic microorganisms in the soil. They feed on bacteria as solitary amoebae but conditionally construct multicellular forms in which cell differentiation takes place. Therefore, they are attractive for the study of fundamental biological phenomena such as phagocytosis, cell division, chemotactic movements, intercellular communication, cell differentiation, and morphogenesis. The most widely used species, Dictyostelium discoideum, is highly amenable to experimental manipulation and can be used with most recent molecular biological techniques. Its genome and cDNA analyses have been completed and well-annotated data are publicly available. A larger number of orthologues of human disease-related genes were found in D. discoideum than in yeast. Moreover, some pathogenic bacteria infect Dictyostelium amoebae. Thus, this microorganism can also offer a good experimental system for biomedical research. The resources of cellular slime molds, standard strains, mutants, and genes are maintained and distributed upon request by the core center of the National BioResource Project (NBRP-nenkin) to support Dictyostelium community users as well as new users interested in new platforms for research and/or phylogenic consideration.

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