1887

Abstract

Many bacteria are motile by means of flagella, semi-rigid helical filaments rotated at the filament's base and energized by proton or sodium-ion gradients. Torque is created between the two major components of the flagellar motor: the rotating switch complex and the cell-wall-associated stators, which are arranged in a dynamic ring-like structure. Being motile provides a survival advantage to many bacteria, and thus the flagellar motor should work optimally under a wide range of environmental conditions. Recent studies have demonstrated that numerous species possess a single flagellar system but have two or more individual stator systems that contribute differentially to flagellar rotation. This review describes recent findings on rotor–stator interactions, on the role of different stators, and on how stator selection could be regulated. An emerging model suggests that bacterial flagellar motors are dynamic and can be tuned by stator swapping in response to different environmental conditions.

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2010-05-01
2019-10-24
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