Chemotaxis by Michael Eisenbach

By Michael Eisenbach

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Qxd 18/03/04 36 9:40 AM Page 36 Chemotaxis 5. The Role of Chemotaxis in Colonizing New Biotopes: Social Aspects As mentioned before, motility in one or the other form is almost ubiquitous among the animals and aquatic organisms. Even sessile and terrestric plants and fungi either produce, if only transiently, motile forms during their life cycle, or have developed devices for passive propagation with the help of water, wind, animals, etc. Considering the wide distribution of motility, and the impressive variety of chemicals sensed by most organisms, we can safely conclude that chemosensory capacities, and hence chemotaxis and chemotropism are heritable traits with great adaptive or selective value.

Sphaeroides similarly show a strong response, but only to that nutrient which is currently limiting growth, a phenomenon that is almost certainly based on related memory effects [4, 5, 40]. Specific repressors and activators that control operons and regulons normally react to specific molecules such as substrates and metabolic end products. , feast and famine, anoxia, and other stress conditions. Different concentrations of indicator molecules such as cAMP, or the phosphorylation levels of signal transduction systems and of two-component systems (see Section 7 in Chapter 3) often mirror these conditions in the cell.

Coli, which also contains a PAS domain and senses redox changes [89]. Together with the response regulator ArcA, this sensor forms a two-component system which controls the synthesis of several terminal oxidases. ) [4, 5, 40, 89]. Some of these are even involved in controlling the activity of alternative sigma-subunits of the RNA polymerase. Thus, RpoF and RpoS in the enteric bacteria control cell differentiation processes and eventually cell surface rearrangements, including flagella synthesis [10, 48, 57].

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