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J Bacteriol. Aug 1987; 169(8): 3429–3434.
PMCID: PMC212413

Sodium-coupled motility in a swimming cyanobacterium.


The energetics of motility in Synechococcus strain WH8113 were studied to understand the unique nonflagellar swimming of this cyanobacterium. There was a specific sodium requirement for motility such that cells were immotile below 10 mM external sodium and cell speed increased with increasing sodium levels above 10 mM to a maximum of about 15 microns/s at 150 to 250 mM sodium. The sodium motive force increased similarly with increasing external sodium from -120 to -165 mV, but other energetic parameters including proton motive force, electrical potential, the proton diffusion gradient, and the sodium diffusion gradient did not show such a correlation. Over a range of external sodium concentrations, cell speed was greater in alkaline environments than in neutral or acidic environments. Monensin and carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone inhibited motility and affected components of sodium motive force but did not affect ATP levels. Cells were motile when incubated with 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea and arsenate, which decreased cellular ATP to about 2% of control values. The results of this investigation are consistent with the conclusion that the direct source of energy for Synechococcus motility is a sodium motive force and that below a threshold of about -100 mV, cells are immotile.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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