Xingbo Yang


Contact

Xingbo Yang


Curriculum vitae


xingbo_yang@fas.harvard.edu

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Department of Applied Physics


Harvard University


Northwest Lab Building
52 Oxford Street
Cambridge MA 02138




Xingbo Yang


xingbo_yang@fas.harvard.edu

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Department of Applied Physics


Harvard University


Northwest Lab Building
52 Oxford Street
Cambridge MA 02138



Mechanosensing and chemotaxis (past)


Cells can adapt their motion to the environment by sensing the mechanical and chemical cues. We discovered a new mode of mechanosensing in M. xanthus bacteria where when the polysaccharide fibers in agar are forced into alignment and to pack tightly via compression, groups of M. xanthus cells change their movements to match the orientation of the long axes of the fibers. We termed this behavior polymertropism. This behavior is shared among many rod, motile bacteria.  Polymertropism could play a role in biofilm formation via slime trail following, where the aligned polysaccharide fibers secreted by one cell could provide a trail for another cell to follow.

The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum performs chemotaxis under starvation conditions, aggregating towards clusters of cells following waves of the signaling molecule cAMP. We developed a biophysical model to integrate the signal relay network with the chemotaxis network to explain the perfect adaptation and timescale matching observed in Dictyostelium chemotaxis.


Publications


Polymertropism of rod-shaped bacteria: movement along aligned polysaccharide fibers


David J. Lemon, Xingbo Yang, Pragya Srivastava, Yan-Yeung Luk, Anthony G. Garza


Scientific Reports, 2017 Aug 11, p. 7643


Spatial gradient sensing and chemotaxis via excitability in Dictyostelium discoideum.


Daniel P. Shams, Xingbo Yang, Pankaj Mehta, David J. Schwab


Physical Review E, vol. 101(6), 2020 May 11, pp. 62410-62410