Asymmetric random walks reveal that the chemotaxis network modulates flagellar rotational bias in Helicobacter pylori.
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The canonical chemotaxis network modulates the bias for a particular direction of rotation in the bacterial flagellar motor to help the cell migrate toward favorable chemical environments. How the chemotaxis network in Helicobacter pylori modulates flagellar functions is unknown, which limits our understanding of chemotaxis in this species. Here, we determined that H. pylori swim faster (slower) whenever their flagella rotate counterclockwise (clockwise) by analyzing their hydrodynamic interactions with bounding surfaces. This asymmetry in swimming helped quantify the rotational bias. Upon exposure to a chemo-attractant, the bias decreased and the cells tended to swim exclusively in the faster mode. In the absence of a key chemotaxis protein, CheY, the bias was zero. The relationship between the reversal frequency and the rotational bias was unimodal. Thus, H. pylori's chemotaxis network appears to modulate the probability of clockwise rotation in otherwise counterclockwise-rotating flagella, similar to the canonical network.
author list (cited authors)
Antani, J. D., Sumali, A. X., Lele, T. P., & Lele, P. P.
complete list of authors
Antani, Jyot D||Sumali, Anita X||Lele, Tanmay P||Lele, Pushkar P