1. Myxobacteria: A Most Peculiar Group of Social Prokaryotes.- Gliding Motility.- Morphogenesis.- Intercellular Communication.- Ecology.- Physiology, Isolation, and Cultivation.- Phylogeny and Taxonomy.- 2. Structure and Function of Myxobacteria Cells and Fruiting Bodies.- Structure of Vegetative Cells and Myxospores.- Structure of Fruiting Bodies.- Conclusions.- 3. Genome of Myxococcus xanthus.- Coordination of DNA Replication with Cell Division.- Base Composition.- Genome Size.- DNA Methylation.- Phase Variation and DNA Rearrangement.- Small Homogeneous DNA Fragment in Total Chromosomal DNA Preparations.- Conclusion.- Note Added in Pages.- 4. Nutrition, Metabolism, and the Initiation of Development.- Nutrition.- Intermediary Metabolism.- Regulation of Nutritional Downshift in Other Bacteria.- Nutritional Control of Fruiting Body Formation.- Intercellular Communication in Other Bacteria.- Intercellular Signals Initiating Development of Myxobacteria.- Conclusion.- 5. Antibiotics and Lytic Enzymes.- Lytic Phenomena.- Lytic Agents Produced by Myxobacteria.- Role of Lytic Enzymes and Antibiotics in Nutrition.- Development: Role of Lytic Enzymes and Antibiotics.- 6. Pigments of Myxobacteria.- Chemical Structures and Biosynthesis.- Physiology.- 7. Gliding Motility and Taxes.- Description of Movements.- Biological, Physical and Chemical Conditions that Affect Gliding.- Gliding Motility Mutants.- Mechanistic Theories of Myxobacterial Gliding.- Tactic Responses.- Conclusion.- Acknowledgments.- 8. Genetics of Myxobacteria.- Transducing Phages and Transduction.- Transposon Tn5 in Myxococcus xanthus.- Gene Mapping by Cotransduction.- Tandem Duplications.- Cloning Myxobacterial Genes.- Extracellular Complementation.- Summary.- Acknowledgment.- 9. Developmental Program of Myxococcus xanthus.- Development in Myxococcus xanthus.- Biochemical Markers of Development.- Analysis of the Developmental Program with Mutants.- Outlines of a Developmental Program.- Acknowledgments.- 10. Social Adaptations in Myxobacteria.- Group Selection and Individual Selection.- Social Behavior During Growth.- Social Behavior During Development.- Conclusion.- 11. Research on the Myxobacteria: Past, Present, Future.- The Distant Past.- The Recent Past.- The Present.- The Future of Myxobacterial Research.- Conclusion.- Acknowledgments.- Appendix A. Selected Reviews on Myxobacteria.- Appendix D. Techniques for Culturing Stigmatella.- References.
During the past few decades we have witnessed an era of remarkable growth in the field of molecular biology. In 1950 very little was known of the chemical constitution of biological systems, the manner in which information was trans mitted from one organism to another, or the extent to which the chemical basis of life is unified. The picture today is dramatically different. We have an almost bewildering variety of information detailing many different aspects of life at the molecular level. These great advances have brought with them seme breath-taking insights into the molecular mechanisms used by nature for rep licating, distributing and modifying biological information. We have learned a great deal about the chemical and physical nature of the macromolecular nucleic acids and proteins, and the manner in which carbohydrates, lipids and smaller molecules work together to provide the molecular setting of living sys tems. It might be said that these few decades have replaced a near vacuum of information with a very large surplus. It is in the context of this flood of information that this series of monographs on molecular biology has been organized. The idea is to bring together in one place, between the covers of one book, a concise assessment of the state of the subject in a well-defined field. This will enable the reader to get a sense of historical perspective-what is known about the field today-and a description of the frontiers of research where our knowledge is increasing steadily.
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