Chemotaxis in mono and poly-flagellated Bacteria

Isiekwene Anthony C.Starred Page By Isiekwene Anthony C., 25th Apr 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

In microbiology, the study of their movement caused them to be classified as living organisms. This movement of the organisms can has been studied and still needs further research to harness its relevance in modern day Biotechnology


Chemotaxis is defined as the ability of motile microorganisms to respond to chemical gradients in their environment, and direct their movement either towards it or away from them via trajectories. Most microorganisms engage in Chemotaxis using their flagella and are either mono-flagellated (Vibro aginolyticus, Vibro cholera, Rhodobacter spheroides,Pseudomonas citronelis) or poly-flagellated (Escherichia coli, Salmonela typhimarium, Salmonela enteric, Bacillus cereus). Movement of these bacteria towards chemical gradient is necessary to enable quick response to attractants as well as repellants, thereby preventing starvation or poison.

Mechanism of Chemotaxis

Chemotaxis is not a genetic mechanism, but a response to chemical concentrations by the use of transducer molecules on the surface of the cell which enables the cell to move in a run, tumble and reverse motion (especially if mono-flagellated). These motions are controlled on the motor(s) of the flagella and are hence driven by the protons powered by a trans membrane electrochemical gradient, or proton motive force, which help in signalling some special type of protein molecule called the “Che molecules”. The Che molecules on been signaled, alternate the movement of the flagella into either a clock-wise direction which leads to a run or anti-clockwise directional rotation which causes the organism to tumble or reverse causing a change in the alignment and orientation to another direction.

Applications In Modern Day Biotecnology

Chemotaxis has found many important applications in biotechnology today: in medicine, it involves changing migratory potentials of cells and organisms in a higher organism, thereby been able to control several clinical symptoms; in Industries, it is used to enhance the utilization of substrates and conservation of energy; in Pharmaceutical studies, it can be used to produce motility-impairing drugs thereby restricting organism to the inflammations they caused. Also in Engineering, it can be used to build robots with high energy production and conservation as they will have several parts(hands) that will be used for different jobs at a particular time; and in Environmental microbiology, it will be useful in developing organisms with effective remediation ability using chemical concentration of the waste, to take care of them.


Chemotaxis Is Not A Genetic Mechanism

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author avatar Isiekwene Anthony C.
A microbiologist, teacher, talkative, emotional writer on science, dreams, religion and personal experiences.

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