Flagellum failure lets bacteria turn

Buckling of appendage drives tiny two-point turn

TINY RUDDER   Over the course of 90 milliseconds, a bacterial cell (Vibrio alginolyticus) makes a hard right turn. It does so by backing up, moving forward and letting the base of its taillike flagellum buckle, researchers have discovered. 

K. Son et al/Nature Physics

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Life

From the Nature Index

Paid Content