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Sliding motility is a passive form of surface spreading that does not require an active motor but instead relies on surfactants to reduce surface tension, enabling the colony to spread away from the origin, driven by the outward pressure of cell growth. PubMed. Sliding can be observed in wild isolates of Bacillus subtilis not expressing or deleted for hag gene PubMed. Sliding requires surfactin production and the presence of potassium in the medium PubMed. Further, sliding requires various components that are related to biofilm formation PubMed.

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Labs working on sliding

Key genes and operons involved in sliding

Important original publications

Roberto R Grau, Paula de Oña, Maritta Kunert, Cecilia Leñini, Ramses Gallegos-Monterrosa, Eisha Mhatre, Darío Vileta, Verónica Donato, Theresa Hölscher, Wilhelm Boland, Oscar P Kuipers, Ákos T Kovács
A Duo of Potassium-Responsive Histidine Kinases Govern the Multicellular Destiny of Bacillus subtilis.
MBio: 2015, 6(4);e00581
[PubMed:26152584] [] [DOI] (I e)

Jordi van Gestel, Hera Vlamakis, Roberto Kolter
From cell differentiation to cell collectives: Bacillus subtilis uses division of labor to migrate.
PLoS Biol.: 2015, 13(4);e1002141
[PubMed:25894589] [] [DOI] (I e)

Xin Hao, Tam Nguyen, Daniel B Kearns, Carolynn C Arpin, Ray Fall, Tarek Sammakia
New inhibitors of colony spreading in Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus anthracis.
Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.: 2011, 21(18);5583-8
[PubMed:21784632] [] [DOI] (I p)

Barry L James, Jennifer Kret, Joyce E Patrick, Daniel B Kearns, Ray Fall
Growing Bacillus subtilis tendrils sense and avoid each other.
FEMS Microbiol. Lett.: 2009, 298(1);12-9
[PubMed:19659723] [] [DOI] (I p)

Ray Fall, Daniel B Kearns, Tam Nguyen
A defined medium to investigate sliding motility in a Bacillus subtilis flagella-less mutant.
BMC Microbiol.: 2006, 6;31
[PubMed:16545127] [] [DOI] (I e)

Rebecca F Kinsinger, Daniel B Kearns, Marina Hale, Ray Fall
Genetic requirements for potassium ion-dependent colony spreading in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2005, 187(24);8462-9
[PubMed:16321950] [] [DOI] (P p)

Rebecca F Kinsinger, Megan C Shirk, Ray Fall
Rapid surface motility in Bacillus subtilis is dependent on extracellular surfactin and potassium ion.
J. Bacteriol.: 2003, 185(18);5627-31
[PubMed:12949115] [] (P p)

Key reviews

Theresa Hölscher, Ákos T Kovács
Sliding on the surface: bacterial spreading without an active motor.
Environ. Microbiol.: 2017, 19(7);2537-2545
[PubMed:28370801] [] [DOI] (I p)

Joyce E Patrick, Daniel B Kearns
Swarming motility and the control of master regulators of flagellar biosynthesis.
Mol. Microbiol.: 2012, 83(1);14-23
[PubMed:22092493] [] [DOI] (I p)

Daniel B Kearns
A field guide to bacterial swarming motility.
Nat. Rev. Microbiol.: 2010, 8(9);634-44
[PubMed:20694026] [] [DOI] (I p)

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