Mitchell H. Singer

Mitchell Singer

Position Title

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, College of Biological Sciences

268 Briggs Hall

Research Interests

Microbial development, gene regulation, and transcriptional control of gene expression.

My lab primarily focuses on two aspects of development in the Gram negative social soil bacterium Myococcus xanthus:  1) identifying the hierarchical regulatory network that initiates and drives the developmental program and 2) determining the developmental link between DNA replication and the developmental program.  In both instances we rely on the transcriptional analysis to monitor progression through development.  My lab is also interested in the evolution of bacterial development in these ubiquitous bacteria and identifying core genes in the developmental process.    

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Microbiology

Specialties / Focus

  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • Gene Regulation
  • Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Microbiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • MIC 155L Prokaryotic Genetics and Physiology Laboratory, Spring
  • MIC 140 Physiology of Prokaryotes, Fall

Honors and Awards

  • Diversity and Principles of Community Faculty Citation Award

    Professional Societies

    • American Society for Microbiology


    • 1982 BS Microbiology University of Illinois
    • 1990 PhD Bacteriology University of Wisconsin, Madison


    Suen, G., J.S. Jakobsen, B.S. Goldman, M. Singer, A. G. Garza, and R.D. Welch. Bacterial Postgenomics: the Promise and Peril of Systems Biology. 2006 J. Bacteriol. 188:7999-8004

    Pham, V.D., C.W. Shebelut, I.R. Jose, D.A. Hodgson, D.E. Whitworth and M. Singer. PhoP4 is Required for Proper Sporulation and Development-Specific Phosphatase Activities in Myxococcus xanthus. 2006. Microbiology. 152:1609-20

    Viswanathan, P., M. Singer, and L. Kroos. Role of ?D in regulating genes and signals during Myxococcus xanthus development. 2006. J. Bacteriol. 188:3246-3256

    Tzeng, L., T. N. Ellis, and M. Singer. DNA replication during aggregation phase is essential for Myxococcus xanthus fruiting body development. 2006. J. Bactiol. 188:2774-79

    Diodati, M. E. , F. Ossa, N. B. Caberoy, I. R. Jose, W. Hiraiwa, M.M. Igo, M. Singer*, and A.G. Garza*. Nla18, a key regulatory protein required for normal growth and development in Myxococcus xanthus. 2006. J. Bacteriol 188:1733-43.

    Tzeng, L., and M. Singer. Myxococcus xanthus myxospores contain two copies of the genome. 2005. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA. 102(40):14428-14433

    Pham, V.D., C.W. Shebelut, B. Mukherjee, and M. Singer. RasA is Required for Myxococcus xanthus Development and Social Motility. 2005. J. Bacteriol. 187(19):6845-6848

    Pham, V.D., C.W. Shebelut, E.J. Zumstein, and M. Singer. BrgE is a regulator of Myxococcus xanthus development. 2005. Mol. Microbiol. 57:762-773

    Pham, V.D., C.W. Shebelut, M. E. Diodati, C.T. Bull and M. Singer. Mutations Affecting Predation Ability of the Soil Bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. 2005. Microbiol. 151:1865-74

    Baer, P., A. G. Garza and M. Singer. nsd, a locus that affects the Myxococcus xanthus cellular response to nutrient concentration. Accepted for publication J. Bacteriology

    Pollack, J.S. and M. Singer. SdeK, a histidine kinase required for Myxococcus xanthus development. 2001. Journal of Bacteriology 183(12):3589-3596

    Garza, A.G., B.Z. Harris, B.M. Greenberg, and M. Singer. Control of asgE expression during growth and development of Myxococcus xanthus. 2000. Journal of Bacteriology. 182(23):6622-6629

    Garza, A.G., B.Z. Harris, J.S. Pollack, and M. Singer. The asgE locus is required for cell-cell signaling during Myxococcus xanthus development. 2000. Molecular Microbiology. 35:812-824

    Karamanos, Y., M. Singer, and L. Sogaard-Anderson. Meeting Review: 25th International Conference on the Biology of the Myxobacteria. 1999. Molecular Microbiology. 31:1863-1869.

    Harris, B.Z. and M. Singer. 1998. Identification and characterization of the Myxococcus xanthus argE gene.. Journal of Bacteriology. 188(23):6412-6414

    Garza, A.G., J.S. Pollack, B.Z. Harris, A. Lee, I.M. Keseler, E.F. Licking, and M. Singer. 1998. SdeK is required for early fruiting body development in Myxococcus xanthus. Journal of Bacteriology. 180:4628-4637

    Harris BZ, D Kaiser, and M Singer. 1998. The guanosine nucleotide (p)ppGpp initiates development and A-factor production in Myxococcus xanthus. Genes and Development. 12:1022-1035

    F. Ossa, M. E. Diodati, N.B. Caberoy, M. Edmonds, A.G. Garza and M. Singer. 2007. The Myxococcus xanthus Nla4 protein is important for expression of stringent response-associated genes, ppGpp accumulation and fruiting body development. J Bacteriol. 2007 189(23):8474-8483

    C.J. Rosario and M. Singer. The Myxococcus xanthus Developmental Program Can Be Delayed by Inhibition of DNA Replication J. Bacteriol. 2007 189: 8793-8800.

    Bode, Helge B., M. W. Ring, G. Schwär, I.R. Jose, M. Singer, and Rolf Müller. Identification of additional players in the alternative biosynthesis pathway to isovaleryl-CoA in the myxobacterium Myxococcus xanthus. 2008. ChemBioChem

    M.E. Diodati, R. Gill, L. Plamann, and M. Singer. 2008 Development I: Initiation and Early developmental events. Chapter 3 in “Myxobacteria: multicellularity and differentiation”. Ed. D. Whitworth ASM Press, Washington D.C.

    Wu D, Hugenholtz P, Mavromatis K, Pukall R, Dalin E, Ivanova NN, Kunin V, Goodwin L, Wu M, Tindall BJ, Hooper SD, Pati A, Lykidis A, Spring S, Anderson IJ, D'haeseleer P, Zemla A, Singer M, Lapidus A, Nolan M, Copeland A, Han C, Chen F, Cheng JF, Lucas S, Kerfeld C, Lang E, Gronow S, Chain P, Bruce D, Rubin EM, Kyrpides NC, Klenk HP, Eisen JA. A phylogeny-driven genomic encyclopaedia of Bacteria and Archaea. Nature. 2009 Dec 24;462(7276):1056-60.

    Rosario, C.J. and M. Singer . Developmental expression of dnaA is required for sporulation and timing of fruiting body formation in Myxococcus xanthus. Mol. Microbiol. 2010. 76(5):1322-1333