Dictyostelium RasD is required for normal phototaxis, but not differentiation Academic Article uri icon


  • RasD, a Dictyostelium homolog of mammalian Ras, is maximally expressed during the multicellular stage of development. Normal Dictyostelium aggregates are phototactic and thermotactic, moving towards sources of light and heat with great sensitivity. We show that disruption of the gene for rasD causes a near-total loss of phototaxis and thermotaxis in mutant aggregates, without obvious effects on undirected movement. Previous experiments had suggested important roles for RasD in development and cell-type determination. Surprisingly, rasD(-) cells show no obvious changes in these processes. These cells represent a novel class of phototaxis mutant, and indicate a role for a Ras pathway in the connections between stimuli and coordinated cell movement.


  • Wilkins, A
  • Khosla, M
  • Fraser, DJ
  • Spiegelman, GB
  • Fisher, PR
  • Weeks, G
  • Insall, RH

publication date

  • June 1, 2000