Sunday, July 22, 2012

100 (micro)meter dash

A fun read in the current issue of Nature Reviews Microbiology is an essay entitled "The Microbial Olympics, " just in time for the Summer Olympics.  You will find stories about microbes competing in boxing, javelin, pathogen relay, diving, and other Olympic events.  Flagellated bacteria compete in the 100 micrometer dash, which you can watch below.  (Note that some of the contestants were genetically modified.)

Lane assignments:
  1. E. coli chimera (has sodium-driven flagellar motors instead of its normal proton-driven motors)
  2. E. coli (proton-driven flagellar motors)
  3. Vibrio alginolyticus, puller (clockwise-locked flagellum "pulls" cell body from front)
  4. Vibrio alginolyticus, pusher (counterclockwise-locked flagellum "pushes" cell body from back)
  5. Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  6. Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  7. Rhodospirillum rubrum
  8. Yersinia enterocolitica


Youle M, Rohwer F, Stacy A, Whiteley M, Steel BC, Delalez NJ, Nord AL, Berry RM, Armitage JP, Kamoun S, Hogenhout S, Diggle SP, Gurney J, Pollitt EJG, Boetius A, and Cary SC (August 2012).  Nature Reviews Microbiology 10(8):583-588.  DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro2837

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