Caister Academic Press

Cellular Differentiation in Filamentous Cyanobacteria

Iris Maldener, Michael L. Summers and Assaf Sukenik
from: The Cell Biology of Cyanobacteria (Edited by: Enrique Flores and Antonia Herrero). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


The ability of vegetative cells that comprise the growing filament of cyanobacteria of the order Nostocales and Stigonematales to differentiate into distinct cell types is comprehensively discussed in this chapter. Three types of differentiated cells are covered: nitrogen fixing heterocysts, dormant akinetes and motile hormogonia. While the first type represents a terminal developmental process, the two later cell types maintain the ability to resume the morphology and functions of vegetative cells including the renewal of cell division. Here we review the current knowledge and understanding of these differentiation processes that occur in cyanobacteria; from environmental signals that trigger the differentiation to the complex regulatory mechanisms that lead to morphological and functional alterations read more ...
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