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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Apr 30;104(17):178104. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Multiple pilus motors cooperate for persistent bacterial movement in two dimensions.

Author information

1
Institut für Molekulare Zellbiologie, Schlossplatz 5, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany.

Abstract

In various bacterial species surface motility is mediated by cycles of type IV pilus motor elongation, adhesion, and retraction, but it is unclear whether bacterial movement follows a random walk. Here we show that the correlation time of persistent movement in Neisseria gonorrhoeae increases with the number of pili. The unbinding force of individual pili from the surface F=10 pN was considerably lower than the stalling force F>100 pN, suggesting that density, force, and adhesive properties of the pilus motor enable a tug-of-war mechanism for bacterial movement.

PMID:
20482147
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.178104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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