Structure, Charged Residues, and Temperature’s Effect of Bacterial Flagellar Motors

Michael Hale


Bacteria with flagellas produce movement by rotating small helical filaments, each driven by a reversible rotary motor. This motor is about 45 nanometers in diameter and is assembled by about 20 different parts. It is powered by an ion flux. Scientists are studying this bacterial motor in order to figure out how such an efficient motor works. Also, if they are able to figure out how it works, they intend on answering questions concerning how to stop or destroy it. These motors power bacterial movement, which is also a way that the bacterial can avoid chemicals, such as antibiotics. Advancements in the understanding of bacterial flagellar motors will hopefully lead to advancements in stopping or slowing of infections. What is the structure? What charged residues effect its function? How does temperature effect the motor?    These are questions that the researchers in the articles in analysis are asking. The major obstacle in answer these question is the size of these bacterial motors. They are smaller than most microscopes can resolve, therefore extremely advanced techniques have been employed.

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