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Agriculture has been a large part of the ecological success of humans. A handful of animals, notably the fungus-growing ants, termites and ambrosia beetles, have advanced agriculture that involves dispersal and seeding of food propagules, cultivation of the crop and sustainable harvesting. More primitive examples, which could be called husbandry because(More)
Agricultural crops are investments that can be exploited by others. Farmer clones of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum carry bacteria to seed out new food populations but they also carry other non-food bacteria such as Burkholderia spp. Here we demonstrate that these farmer-carried Burkholderia inhibit the growth of non-farmer D. discoideum clones(More)
Many cells appear to secrete factors called chalones that limit their proliferation, but in most cases the factors have not been identified. We found that growing Dictyostelium cells secrete a 60 kDa protein called AprA for autocrine proliferation repressor. AprA has similarity to putative bacterial proteins of unknown function. Compared with wild-type(More)
Developing Dictyostelium cells form large aggregation streams that break up into groups of 0.2 x 10(5) to 1 x 10(5) cells. Each group then becomes a fruiting body. smlA cells oversecrete an unknown factor that causes aggregation streams to break up into groups of approximately 5 x 10(3) cells and thus form very small fruiting bodies. We have purified the(More)
Developing Dictyostelium cells aggregate to form fruiting bodies containing typically 2 x 10(4) cells. To prevent the formation of an excessively large fruiting body, streams of aggregating cells break up into groups if there are too many cells. The breakup is regulated by a secreted complex of polypeptides called counting factor (CF). Countin and CF50 are(More)
Starved Dictyostelium cells aggregate into groups of roughly 10(5) cells. We have identified a gene which, when repressed by antisense transformation or homologous recombination, causes starved cells to form large numbers of small aggregates. We call the gene smlA for small aggregates. A roughly 1.0 kb smlA mRNA is expressed in vegetative and early(More)
In Dictyostelium, initial cell type choice is correlated with the cell-cycle phase of the cell at the time of starvation. We have isolated a mutant, ratioA (rtoA), with a defect in this mechanism that results in an abnormally high percentage of prestalk cells. The rtoA gene has been cloned and sequenced and codes for a novel protein. The cell cycle is(More)
A secreted 450-kDa complex of proteins called counting factor (CF) is part of a negative feedback loop that regulates the size of the groups formed by developing Dictyostelium cells. Two components of CF are countin and CF50. Both recombinant countin and recombinant CF50 decrease group size in Dictyostelium. countin- cells have a decreased cAMP-stimulated(More)
Dictyostelium aggregation streams break up into groups of 10(3) to 2 x 10(4) cells. The cells sense the number of cells in a stream or group by the level of a secreted counting factor (CF). CF is a complex of at least 5 polypeptides. When the gene encoding countin (one of the CF polypeptides) was disrupted, the cells could not sense each other's presence,(More)
Stable multipartite mutualistic associations require that all partners benefit. We show that a single mutational step is sufficient to turn a symbiotic bacterium from an inedible but host-beneficial secondary metabolite producer into a host food source. The bacteria's host is a "farmer" clone of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum that carries and(More)