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J Mol Biol. 2015 Nov 20;427(23):3683-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2015.07.025. Epub 2015 Aug 12.

Shelter in a Swarm.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA. Electronic address: rasika@austin.utexas.edu.
2
Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.

Abstract

Flagella propel bacteria during both swimming and swarming, dispersing them widely. However, while swimming bacteria use chemotaxis to find nutrients and avoid toxic environments, swarming bacteria appear to suppress chemotaxis and to use the dynamics of their collective motion to continuously expand and acquire new territory, barrel through lethal chemicals in their path, carry along bacterial and fungal cargo that assists in exploration of new niches, and engage in group warfare for niche dominance. Here, we focus on two aspects of swarming, which, if understood, hold the promise of revealing new insights into microbial signaling and behavior, with ramifications beyond bacterial swarming. These are as follows: how bacteria sense they are on a surface and turn on programs that promote movement and how they override scarcity and adversity as dense packs.

KEYWORDS:

antibiotic resistance; biofilms; flagellar motor; group migration; surface sensing

PMID:
26277623
PMCID:
PMC4548829
DOI:
10.1016/j.jmb.2015.07.025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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