Filutowicz Lab
Unicellular myxamoebae aggregate when starved initiating a developmental cycle with multiple stages

Soil-dwelling myxamoebae are benign eukaryotic microorganisms that are fairly picky eaters. Sure, some will munch on yeasts and you’ll find the occasional cannibalistic strain, but mostly, myx-amoebae feast on bacteria. Of course, that’s when they’re unicellular and bacteria are plentiful. When feast turns to famine, the myxamoebae swarm to form multicellular slugs that seek out more hospitable environments. And if that doesn’t pan out, they differentiate into fruiting bodies that hold hardy spores aloft. Our lab is investigating ways to use these natural “antibacterial agents” to solve problems bacteria pose to health, agriculture and even industry.