Variability in bacterial flagella re-growth patterns after breakage.
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Chevance, Fabienne F V
Renault, Thibaud T
Hughes, Kelly T
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractMany bacteria swim through liquids or crawl on surfaces by rotating long appendages called flagella. Flagellar filaments are assembled from thousands of subunits that are exported through a narrow secretion channel and polymerize beneath a capping scaffold at the tip of the growing filament. The assembly of a flagellum uses a significant proportion of the biosynthetic capacities of the cell with each filament constituting ~1% of the total cell protein. Here, we addressed a significant question whether a flagellar filament can form a new cap and resume growth after breakage. Re-growth of broken filaments was visualized using sequential 3-color fluorescent labeling of filaments after mechanical shearing. Differential electron microscopy revealed the formation of new cap structures on broken filaments that re-grew. Flagellar filaments are therefore able to re-grow if broken by mechanical shearing forces, which are expected to occur frequently in nature. In contrast, no re-growth was observed on filaments that had been broken using ultrashort laser pulses, a technique allowing for very local damage to individual filaments. We thus conclude that assembly of a new cap at the tip of a broken filament depends on how the filament was broken.
CitationVariability in bacterial flagella re-growth patterns after breakage. 2017, 7 (1):1282 Sci Rep
AffiliationHelmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr.7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.
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