Building filaments in the air: aerial morphogenesis in bacteria and fungi
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To disperse their spores to new sites, filamentous fungi and bacteria need to erect aerial filaments, which develop into fruiting bodies and spore-bearing structures. The first challenge to aerial development is breaking surface tension at an aqueous-air interface, and in both groups of microorganisms, surface-active proteins take part in the initiation of aerial morphogenesis. Comparative analysis of fungi and bacteria is providing new insights into the means by which aerial filamentation is accomplished.
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