Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Mycococcus xanthus in action.

Mycococcus xanthus


Myxococcus xanthus is a predatory bacterium that exhibits various collective behaviors throughout its life cycle. At left, M. xanthus cells self-organize into traveling waves when preying upon E. coli. At right, in areas without prey, M. xanthus bacteria stream together by the thousands to form haystack-shaped, spore-filled aggregates.

Credit: Z. Vaksman, H. Kaplan/UT Medical School at Houston; and O.A. Igoshin/Rice University

General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the Multimedia in the News section of the NSF Multimedia Gallery are not for use by the public without permission from the copyright owner listed in the credit.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

Also Available:
Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (531.7 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.

Related story: 'Social' bacteria that work together to hunt for food and survive under harsh conditions