The genus has been characterized in detail by Poindexter (1964). Because of the simple yet distinct morphological and physiological changes which occur during the life-cycle of this stalked pseudomonad, it may provide a bacterial example for the study of cellular differentiation among lower life forms. The stalked, non-motile cell gives rise to two different cell types upon division, a motile swarmer cell with flagellum and a cell with the original stalk. The stalked cell divides again following the same pattern. However, the motile cell must lose motility and develop a stalk before cell division. It then gives rise to a motile, non-stalked cell and a stalked cell as did its parent. A key to the study of such a system with two distinct growth stages is the effective separation of the two cell types or the elimination of one or the other so that each may be studied separately.


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