Migration of Dictyostelium discoideum to the Chemoattractant Folic Acid. Chapter uri icon


  • Dictyostelium discoideum can be grown axenically in a cultured media or in the presence of a natural food source, such as the bacterium Klebsiella aerogenes (KA). Here we describe the advantages and methods for growing D. discoideum on a bacterial lawn for several processes studied using this model system. When grown on a bacterial lawn, D. discoideum show positive chemotaxis towards folic acid (FA). While these vegetative cells are highly unpolarized, it has been shown that the signaling and cytoskeletal molecules regulating the directed migration of these cells are homologous to those seen in the motility of polarized cells in response to the chemoattractant cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Growing D. discoideum on KA stimulates chemotactic responsiveness to FA. A major advantage of performing FA-mediated chemotaxis is that it does not require expression of the cAMP developmental program and therefore has the potential to identify mutants that are purely unresponsive to chemoattractant gradients. The cAMP-mediated chemotaxis can appear to fail when cells are developmentally delayed or do not up-regulate genes needed for cAMP-mediated migration. In addition to providing robust chemotaxis to FA, cells grown on bacterial lawns are highly resistant to light damage during fluorescence microscopy. This resistance to light damage could be exploited to better understand other biological processes such as phagocytosis or cytokinesis. The cell cycle is also shortened when cells are grown in the presence of KA, so the chances of seeing a mitotic event increases.

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Aufderheide, K. J., & Janetopoulos, C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Aufderheide, Karl J||Janetopoulos, Chris

Book Title


publication date

  • January 2016