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Dictyostelium Discoideum: Cellular Slime Mold

  1. Annette Müller-Taubenberger1,
  2. Markus Maniak2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300176

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Müller-Taubenberger, A. and Maniak, M. 2006. Dictyostelium Discoideum: Cellular Slime Mold. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany

  2. 2

    University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

Dictyostelium discoideum is a tractable system for the study of basic processes in cell and developmental biology. These processes include signal transduction, chemotaxis, motility, cytokinesis, phagocytosis, and aspects of development such as cell sorting, pattern formation, and cell-type differentiation. Dictyostelium has unique advantages for studying fundamental biological questions, since it is particularly amenable to both genetic and biochemical analyses. Dictyostelium has been chosen, along with several other organisms with known genomes, as a model system to analyze the functions of the identified genes. Biological questions in Dictyostelium have mainly addressed the function of individual gene products, but more systematic approaches have now been launched on the basis of the knowledge derived from genome-, proteome-, and cDNA-projects. Recent studies on the genetics of Dictyostelium have opened new directions in biomedical research. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the Dictyostelium genome, updates the state of the Dictyostelium genome project, and concentrates on the molecular methods currently used to explore the functions of individual gene products.

Keywords:

  • Amoebozoa;
  • Chemotaxis;
  • Development;
  • Model Organism;
  • Transformation