Mutants of that developed huge aggregation streams in expanding clones were investigated using optical and biochemical techniques. Representatives of the six complementation groups previously identified () were found to be similar to the parental wild-type strain XP55 in both the extent and timing of their ability to initiate and relay chemotactic signals and in the formation of cyclic AMP receptors and phosphodiesterases. The mutants differed from the wild-type in producing an abnormal chemotactic (movement) response visible using both dark-field optics with synchronously aggregating amoebae on solid substrata and light scattering techniques with oxygenated cell suspensions. Mutants of complementation group showed chemotactic movement responses lasting up to 520 s, rather than 100 s as seen in the parental and other strains. Measurements of cyclic GMP formed intracellularly in response to chemotactic pulses of cyclic AMP in mutants showed that abnormally high concentrations of this nucleotide were formed within 10 s and were not rapidly degraded. A causal correlation between defective cyclic GMP metabolism and the altered chemotactic response is suggested, and a model is proposed that accounts for the formation of huge aggregation streams in clones of these mutants.


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