Princeton University2014-07-07 4:31 PM

The curved shape of Caulobacter crescentus enhances surface colonization in flow

Abstract

Each bacterial species has a characteristic shape, but the benefits of specific morphologies remain largely unknown. To understand potential functions for cell shape, we focused on the curved bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. Paradoxically, C. crescentus curvature is robustly maintained in the wild but straight mutants have no known disadvantage in standard laboratory conditions. Here we demonstrate that cell curvature enhances C. crescentus surface colonization in flow. Imaging the formation of microcolonies at high spatial and temporal resolution indicates that flow causes curved cells to orient such that they arc over the surface, thereby decreasing the distance between the surface and polar adhesive pili, and orienting pili to face the surface. C. crescentus thus repurposes pilus retraction, typically used for surface motility, for surface attachment. The benefit provided by curvature is eliminated at high flow intensity, raising the possibility that diversity in curvature adapts related species for life in different flow environments.

Full Article:
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140508/ncomms4824/full/ncomms4824.html

KEYWORDS

SHARE & LIKE

COMMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Princeton University

0 Following 0 Fans 0 Projects 9 Articles

SIMILAR ARTICLES

Why do people so often use metaphorical expressions when literal paraphrases are readily available? This study focuses on a comparison of metaphorical

Read More

AbstractLarge herbivorous mammals play an important role in structuring African savannahs and are undergoing widespread population declines and local e

Read More

AbstractHealth at birth is an important predictor of long-term outcomes, including education, income, and disability. Recent evidence suggests that mat

Read More

AbstractDespite overwhelming scientific consensus concerning anthropogenic climate change, many in the non-expert public perceive climate change as deb

Read More

AbstractSymmetry-broken three-dimensional (3D) topological Dirac semimetal systems with strong spin-orbit coupling can host many exotic Hall-like pheno

Read More

AbstractHow do marginalized social categories, such as being black and gay, combine with one another in the production of discrimination? While much ex

Read More

AbstractResults from three studies demonstrate that victims’ justice-related satisfaction with punishment is influenced by the kind of feedback they re

Read More

AbstractEach bacterial species has a characteristic shape, but the benefits of specific morphologies remain largely unknown. To understand potential fu

Read More

AbstractRecent research has shown that the degree to which speakers and listeners exhibit similar brain activity patterns during human linguistic inter

Read More