Caister Academic Press

Motility in Unicellular and Filamentous Cyanobacteria

Bianca Brahamsha and Devaki Bhaya
from: The Cell Biology of Cyanobacteria (Edited by: Enrique Flores and Antonia Herrero). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Both unicellular and filamentous cyanobacteria exhibit diverse types of motility, including the ability to move on surfaces and to swim in liquids. Motile behavior can be regulated such that cyanobacteria can respond to important environmental signals such as light or chemical gradients. In some cases, components of the motility machinery, such as Type IV pili that allow certain unicellular species to move on surfaces have been characterized. In others, as is the case for swimming in certain marine unicellular species, and gliding in filamentous genera, the motility apparatus has yet to be identified. We describe here recent advances that have led to the identification of multiple photoreceptors and novel proteins involved in motility. The complex signal transduction pathways governing motile behavior and attempts to model this behavior are discussed. We conclude with some of the major challenges that remain in our understanding of the complexities of motile behavior read more ...
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