Standard Article

Microbial Development

Cell Biology

  1. Paul Robert Fisher

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400144

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Fisher, P. R. 2006. Microbial Development. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. La Trobe University, VIC, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

Development is not only restricted to large multicellular animals and plants but is also a feature of the life cycles of microorganisms. The environment of a microorganism is rapidly changeable so that both eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbes have evolved developmental strategies to enhance their nutrient-scavenging abilities or in more extreme circumstances to form dormant, resistant cells (spores). The spores can survive under harsh conditions that do not support growth and can be dispersed to other environments that do. The endospores of pathogenic Clostridium species are amongst the most resistant cells on earth, and their destruction (or removal) is the key criterion for successful microbiological sterilization. Developmental programs in microbial pathogens are initiated in response to infection of the host and play important roles in pathogenesis. However, the best-understood examples of microbial development are not pathogens, but free-living microbes. The general principles underlying microbial development are being elucidated by their study.

Keywords:

  • Differentiation;
  • Morphogenesis;
  • Development;
  • Cell Cycle;
  • Protein Kinase;
  • Sigma Factor;
  • Transcription Factor;
  • Signal Transduction;
  • Holdfast;
  • Flagellum;
  • Pilus;
  • Pseudopod or Pseudopodium;
  • Spore;
  • Endospore;
  • Sorus