Properties of Rhodobacter Sphaeroides Flagellar Motor Proteins

  • R. Elizabeth Sockett
  • Ian G. P. Goodfellow
  • Gabi Günther
  • Matthew Edge
  • Deepan Shah

Abstract

The purple non-sulphur bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides swims due to the rapid rotation of a single unidirectional flagellum [1]. It is well documented that this organism makes tactic swimming responses to a variety of stimuli which include light intensity, pH, partial pressure of oxygen, and concentration gradients of a range of organic chemicals found in the aquatic environments in which they live [1]. Rhodobacter sphaeroides swimming behaviour is produced by modulating the stopping and starting of the single, medially located flagellum. Cells reorientate to a new swimming direction when rotation stops and the flagellum coils up. Most work in bacterial motility has been carried out in enteric species Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli which possess between five and eight flagella [2]. Swimming behaviour is modulated by “switching”the direction of flagellar rotation (counterclockwise rotation results in cells swimming vectorially i.e “running”and clockwise rotation causes the cells to “tumble”until a favourable direction is found). Flagella that work in this manner possess motors that are termed bidirectional.

Keywords

Agar Torque Cysteine Polypeptide Photosynthesis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Elizabeth Sockett
    • 1
  • Ian G. P. Goodfellow
    • 1
  • Gabi Günther
    • 1
  • Matthew Edge
    • 1
  • Deepan Shah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life ScienceNottingham UniversityUniversity Park, NottinghamUK

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