Dr David Whitworth


Dr David Whitworth


Contact Details



My research focuses on the myxobacterial predator Myxococcus xanthus and how it preys upon other microbes. We are studying natural myxobacterial isolates using a variety of genomic, proteomic and phenotypic techniques to identify the genes conferring antimicrobial activity. Particular topics of interest include the predatory vesicles shed by myxobacteria, and myxobacterial signalling pathways and how they alter behaviour in response to a changing environment. In particular, I am interested in the social and predatory myxobacteria, and how they use two-component signalling pathways to co-ordinate group behaviour.


Interspecies conflict affects RNA expressionWhitworth, D. 2018 In : FEMS Microbiology Letters.
Transcriptional changes when Myxococcus xanthus preys on Escherichia coli suggest myxobacterial predators are consititutively toxic but regulate their feedingLivingstone, P., Millard, A., Swain, M. T. & Whitworth, D. E. 2018 In : Microbial Genomics. 152
Group Therapy or Mass Suicide? The Sharing of Cellular Damage Between Members of a Bacterial CommunityWhitworth, D. 2017 In : BioEssays.
Myxobacteria are able to prey broadly upon clinically-relevant pathogens, exhibiting a prey range which cannot be explained by phylogenyLivingstone, P., Morphew, R. & Whitworth, D. 2017 In : Frontiers in Microbiology.8, 1593
The myxobacterium Myxococcus xanthus can sense and respond to the quorum signals secreted by potential prey organismsLloyd, D. & Whitworth, D. 2017 In : Frontiers in Microbiology.8, 439
MetaPred2CS: a sequence-based meta-predictor for protein-protein interactions of prokaryotic two-component system proteinsKara, A., Vickers, M., Swain, M., Whitworth, D. & Fernandez-Fuentes, N. 2016 In : Bioinformatics.32, 21, p. 3339-33413 p.
Recasting a traditional laboratory practical as a “Design-your-own protocol” to teach a universal research skillWhitworth, D. E. 2016 In : Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.44, 4, p. 377-380
Can the bacterial community of a High Arctic glacier surface escape viral control?Edwards Rassner, S., Anesio, A., Girdwood, S. E., Hell, K., Gokul, J., Whitworth, D. & Edwards, A. 2016 In : Frontiers in Microbiology.7, 956
Composition of distinct sub-proteomes in Myxococcus xanthus: metabolic cost and amino acid availabilityWhitworth, D. E., Slade, S. E. & Mironas, A. 2015 In : Amino Acids.47, 12, p. 2521-253111 p.
An off-the-shelf, authentic and versatile undergraduate molecular biology practical course.Whitworth, D. 2015 In : Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.43, 6, p. 434-4407 p.
Synergism between bacterial GAPDH and OMVs: disparate mechanisms but co-operative actionWhitworth, D. & Morgan, B. 2015 In : Frontiers in Microbiology.6, 1231
Genome-wide analysis of myxobacterial two-component systems: genome relatedness and evolutionary changesWhitworth, D. E. 2015 In : BMC Genomics.16, 1, 780
P2CS: updates of the prokaryotic two-component systems databaseOrtet, P., Whitworth, D. E., Santaella, C., Achouak, W. & Barakat, M. 2015 In : Nucleic Acids Research.43, (D1), p. D536-D5416 p.
Genome-wide prediction of prokaryotic two-component system networks using a sequence-based meta-predictorKara, A., Vickers, M., Swain, M., Whitworth, D. E. & Fernandez-Fuentes, N. 2015 In : BMC Bioinformatics.16, 1, 297
The fist bump: a more hygienic alternative to the handshakeMela, S. & Whitworth, D. E. 2014 In : American Journal of Infection Control.42, 8, p. 916-9172 p.
Online assessment of learning and engagement in university laboratory practicalsWhitworth, D. E. & Wright, K. 2014 In : British Journal of Educational Technology.
P2RP: a Web-based framework for the identification and analysis of regulatory proteins in prokaryotic genomesBarakat, M., Ortet, P. & Whitworth, D. E. 2013 In : BMC Genomics.14, 1, p. 269
P2TF: a comprehensive resource for analysis of prokaryotic transcription factorsOrtet, P., De Luca, G., Whitworth, D. E. & Barakat, M. 2012 In : BMC Genomics.13, 628
Predatory activity of Myxococcus xanthus outer-membrane vesicles and properties of their hydrolase cargoEvans, A. G. L., Davey, H. M., Cookson, A. R., Currinn, H., Cooke-Fox, G., Stanczyk, P. J. & Whitworth, D. E. 2012 In : Microbiology.158, Pt 11, p. 2742-275211 p.
Myxobacterial Vesicles: Death at a Distance?Whitworth, D. E. 2011 In : Advances in Applied Microbiology.75, p. 1-3131 p.
The genetic organisation of prokaryotic two-component system signalling pathwaysWilliams, R. H. N. & Whitworth, D. E. 2010 In : BMC Genomics.11, 720, p. 1-1212 p., 720
P2CS: a database of prokaryotic two-component systemsBarakat, M., Ortet, P. & Whitworth, D. E. 2010 In : Nucleic Acids Research.39, 1, p. D771-D776
Correlations between the role, sequence conservation, genomic location and severity of phenotype in myxobacterial developmental genesEvans, A. R. & Whitworth, D. E. 2010 In : FEMS Microbiology Letters.312, 1, p. 40-456 p.
Spatial simulations of myxobacterial developmentHolmes, A. B., Kalvala, S. & Whitworth, D. E. 2010 In : PLoS Computational Biology.6, 2, e1000686
Evolution of relative reading frame bias in unidirectional prokaryotic gene overlapsCock, P. J. A. & Whitworth, D. E. 2010 In : Molecular Biology and Evolution.27, 4, p. 753-7564 p.
Evolution of prokaryotic two-component systems: insights from comparative genomicsWhitworth, D. E. & Cock, P. J. A. 2009 In : Amino Acids.37, 3, p. 459-4668 p.
P2CS: a two-component system resource for prokaryotic signal transduction researchBarakat, M., Ortet, P., Jourlin-Castelli, C., Ansaldi, M., Méjean, V. & Whitworth, D. E. 2009 In : BMC Genomics.10, 315
Life with little oxygen: lessons from microbesWhitworth, D. E., Young, M., McEwan, N. R., Newbold, C. J., Smith, S. P. (ed.) & Spikes, K. J. (ed.) 2009 IBERS Knowledge-based Innovations, 2, p. 19-224 p.
Myxobacteria Motility: a novel 3D model of rippling behaviour in Myxococcus xanthusHolmes, A. B., Kalvala, S. & Whitworth, D. E. 2009 In : Systemics and Informatics World Network.6, p. 65-706 p.
Genomes and knowledge - a questionable relationship?Whitworth, D. E. 2008 In : Trends in Microbiology.16, 11, p. 512-5198 p.
Protein-protein interactions between two-component system transmitter and receiver domains of Myxococcus xanthusWhitworth, D. E., Millard, A., Hodgson, D. A. & Hawkins, P. F. 2008 In : Proteomics.8, 9, p. 1839-18424 p.
Phosphate acquisition components of the Myxococcus xanthus Pho regulon are regulated by both phosphate availability and developmentWhitworth, D. E., Holmes, A. B., Irvine, A. G., Hodgson, D. A. & Scanlan, D. J. 2008 In : Journal of Bacteriology.190, 6, p. 1997-20037 p.
Two-component systems of the myxobacteria: structure, diversity and evolutionary relationshipsWhitworth, D. E. & Cock, P. J. A. 2008 In : Microbiology.154, 2, p. 360-37213 p.
Evolution of prokaryotic two-component system signaling pathways: Gene fusions and fissionsCock, P. J. A. & Whitworth, D. E. 2007 In : Molecular Biology and Evolution.24, 11, p. 2355-23573 p.
Myxobacteria: Multicellularity and DifferentiationWhitworth, D. E. 2007 1st ed.American Society for Microbiology.
Two-Component Signal Transduction System of the MyxobacteriaWhitworth, D. E. & Cock, P. J. A. 2007 Myxobacteria: Multicellularity and Differentiation. Whitworth, D. E. (ed.). American Society for Microbiology, p. 169-18921 p.
Evolution of gene overlaps: relative reading frame bias in prokaryotic two-component system genesCock, P. J. A. & Whitworth, D. E. 2007 In : Journal of Molecular Evolution.64, 4, p. 457-4626 p.
Complete genome sequence of the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosumSchneiker, S., Perlova, O., Kaiser, O., Gerth, K., Alici, A., Altmeyer, M. O., Bartels, D., Bekel, T., Beyer, S., Bode, E., Bode, H. B., Bolten, C. J., Choudhuri, J. V., Doss, S., Elnakady, Y. A., Frank, B., Gaigalat, L., Goesmann, A., Groeger, C., Gross, F., Jelsbak, L., Jelsbak, L., Kalinowski, J., Kegler, C., Knauber, T., Konietzny, S., Kopp, M., Krause, L., Krug, D., Linke, B., Mahmud, T., Martinez-Arias, R., McHardy, A. C., Merai, M., Meyer, F., Mormann, S., Muñoz-Dorado, J., Perez, J., Pradella, S., Rachid, S., Raddatz, G., Rosenau, F., Rückert, C., Sasse, F., Scharfe, M., Schuster, S. C., Suen, G., Treuner-Lange, A., Velicer, G. J., Vorhölter, F-J., Weissman, K. J., Welch, R. D., Wenzel, S. C., Whitworth, D. E., Wilhelm, S., Wittmann, C., Blöcker, H., Pühler, A. & Müller, R. 2007 In : Nature Biotechnology.25, 11, p. 1281-12899 p.
The response regulator PhoP4 is required for late developmental events in Myxococcus xanthusPham, V. D., Shebelut, C. W., Jose, I. R., Hodgson, D. A., Whitworth, D. E. & Singer, M. 2006 In : Microbiology.152, 6, p. 1609-162012 p.
Four Unusual Two-Component Signal Transduction Homologs, RedC to RedF, Are Necessary for Timely Development in Myxococcus xanthusHiggs, P. I., Cho, K., Whitworth, D. E., Evans, L. S. & Zusman, D. R. 2005 In : Journal of Bacteriology.187, 23, p. 8191-81955 p.
Genetic dissection of the light-inducible carQRS promoter region of Myxococcus xanthusWhitworth, D. E., Bryan, S. J., Berry, A. E., McGowan, S. J. & Hodgson, D. A. 2004 In : Journal of Bacteriology.186, 23, p. 7836-784611 p.
Light-induced carotenogenesis in Myxococcus xanthus functional characterization of the ECF sigma factor CarQ and antisigma factor CarRBrowning, D. F., Whitworth, D. E. & Hodgson, D. A. 2003 In : Molecular Microbiology.48, 1, p. 237-25115 p.
Light-induced carotenogenesis in Myxococcus xanthus: evidence that CarS acts as an anti-repressor of CarAWhitworth, D. E. & Hodgson, D. A. 2001 In : Molecular Microbiology.42, 3, p. 809-81911 p.