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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Mar;9(3):153-65. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2505. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Signal processing in complex chemotaxis pathways.

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Biosciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QD, UK.


Bacteria use chemotaxis to migrate towards environments that are better for growth. Chemoreceptors detect changes in attractant levels and signal through two-component systems to control swimming direction. This basic pathway is conserved across all chemotactic bacteria and archaea; however, recent work combining systems biology and genome sequencing has started to elucidate the additional complexity of the process in many bacterial species. This article focuses on one of the best understood complex networks, which is found in Rhodobacter sphaeroides and integrates sensory data about the external environment and the metabolic state of the cell to produce a balanced response at the flagellar motor.

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