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High-speed motility originates from cooperatively pushing and pulling flagella bundles in bilophotrichous bacteria

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Bente,  Klaas
Damien Faivre, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Mohammadinejad,  Sarah
Stefan Klumpp, Theorie & Bio-Systeme, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Charsooghi,  Mohammad
Damien Faivre, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Bachmann,  Felix
Damien Faivre, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Codutti,  Agnese
Damien Faivre, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Faivre,  Damien
Damien Faivre, Biomaterialien, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bente, K., Mohammadinejad, S., Charsooghi, M., Bachmann, F., Codutti, A., Lefèvre, C. T., et al. (2020). High-speed motility originates from cooperatively pushing and pulling flagella bundles in bilophotrichous bacteria. eLife, 9: e47551. doi:10.7554/eLife.47551.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-A75C-8
Abstract
Bacteria propel and change direction by rotating long, helical filaments, called flagella. The number of flagella, their arrangement on the cell body and their sense of rotation hypothetically determine the locomotion characteristics of a species. The movement of the most rapid microorganisms has in particular remained unexplored because of additional experimental limitations. We show that magnetotactic cocci with two flagella bundles on one pole swim faster than 500 µm·s-1 along a double helical path, making them one of the fastest natural microswimmers. We additionally reveal that the cells reorient in less than 5 ms, an order of magnitude faster than reported so far for any other bacteria. Using hydrodynamic modeling, we demonstrate that a mode where a pushing and a pulling bundle cooperate is the only possibility to enable both helical tracks and fast reorientations. The advantage of sheathed flagella bundles is the high rigidity, making high swimming speeds possible.