Slime trails of Chondromyces apiculatus.

As the cells glide, they etch trails into the agar surface. They can move either as single cells or as small groups of cells. Note the extent to which cells can leave one group and enter another group passing from the opposite direction. It seems that the cells move faster when on a trail that has already been laid. However, a recent careful analysis by Arthur Koch (submitted for publication ) of the rates and patterns of movement of Myxococcus xanthus, has indicated that this is not the case. See also the paper by R.P. Burchard (Trail following by gliding bacteria. J. Bacteriol. 152:495-501).

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