Caister Academic Press

Bacterial Chemotaxis

Kathryn A. Scott, Elizabeth E. Jefferys, Benjamin A. Hall, Mark A. J. Roberts and Judith P. Armitage
from: Bacterial Regulatory Networks (Edited by: Alain A.M. Filloux). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)


Chemotaxis is the process by which bacteria migrate towards environments that are favourable for growth. Changes in the concentration of attractants or repellents are detected by receptors, which are usually transmembrane proteins. These receptors transduce the signal to the interior of the cell where a two-component system ultimately leads to changes in motile behaviour. Chemotaxis emerged as a beneficial trait for survival early in the evolution of bacteria and archaea. A core set of proteins is common to the chemosensory networks in many different species. During the evolution of bacteria this core network has diversified and expanded. Here we describe the conserved apparatus in the steps necessary for chemotaxis; sensing of chemoeffectors, signalling to the motility apparatus, rapid signal termination, and adaptation. We then highlight examples from species with complex chemosensory networks to illustrate the variations in chemotactic apparatus that have arisen from the common core read more ...
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