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Environ Microbiol. 2011 May;13(5):1115-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2010.02383.x. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Diversity at its best: bacterial taxis.

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Department of Environmental Protection, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, C/Prof. Albareda 1, Granada, Spain.


Bacterial taxis is one of the most investigated signal transduction mechanisms. Studies of taxis have primarily used Escherichia coli and Salmonella as model organism. However, more recent studies of other bacterial species revealed a significant diversity in the chemotaxis mechanisms which are reviewed here. Differences include the genomic abundance, size and topology of chemoreceptors, the mode of signal binding, the presence of additional cytoplasmic signal transduction proteins or the motor mechanism. This diversity of chemotactic mechanisms is partly due to the diverse nature of input signals. However, the physiological reasons for the majority of differences in the taxis systems are poorly understood and its elucidation represents a major research need.

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