Force and flexibility of flailing myxobacteria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Myxococcus xanthus is a common Gram-negative bacterium that moves by a process called gliding motility. In myxobacteria, two distinct mechanisms for gliding have been discovered. S-type motility requires the extension, attachment, and retraction of type IV pili. The other mechanism, designated as A-type motility, may be driven by the secretion and swelling of slime; however, experiments to confirm or refute this model are still lacking and the force exerted by this mechanism has not been measured. A previously published experiment found that when an M. xanthus cell became stuck at one end, the cell underwent flailing motions. Based on this experiment, I propose an elastic model that can estimate the force produced by the A-motility engine and the bending modulus of a single myxobacterial cell. The model estimates a bending modulus of 3 × 10-14 erg cm and a force between 50-150 pN. This force is comparable to that predicted by slime extrusion, and the bending modulus is 30-fold smaller than that measured in Bacillus subtilis. This model suggests experiments that can further quantify this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-950
Number of pages6
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume89
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Myxococcales
Myxococcus xanthus
Bacillus subtilis
Gram-Negative Bacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

Cite this

Force and flexibility of flailing myxobacteria. / Wolgemuth, Charles William.

In: Biophysical Journal, Vol. 89, No. 2, 08.2005, p. 945-950.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3493376607b94724945c2732a8c98c99,
title = "Force and flexibility of flailing myxobacteria",
abstract = "Myxococcus xanthus is a common Gram-negative bacterium that moves by a process called gliding motility. In myxobacteria, two distinct mechanisms for gliding have been discovered. S-type motility requires the extension, attachment, and retraction of type IV pili. The other mechanism, designated as A-type motility, may be driven by the secretion and swelling of slime; however, experiments to confirm or refute this model are still lacking and the force exerted by this mechanism has not been measured. A previously published experiment found that when an M. xanthus cell became stuck at one end, the cell underwent flailing motions. Based on this experiment, I propose an elastic model that can estimate the force produced by the A-motility engine and the bending modulus of a single myxobacterial cell. The model estimates a bending modulus of 3 × 10-14 erg cm and a force between 50-150 pN. This force is comparable to that predicted by slime extrusion, and the bending modulus is 30-fold smaller than that measured in Bacillus subtilis. This model suggests experiments that can further quantify this process.",
author = "Wolgemuth, {Charles William}",
year = "2005",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1529/biophysj.105.062513",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "89",
pages = "945--950",
journal = "Biophysical Journal",
issn = "0006-3495",
publisher = "Biophysical Society",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Force and flexibility of flailing myxobacteria

AU - Wolgemuth, Charles William

PY - 2005/8

Y1 - 2005/8

N2 - Myxococcus xanthus is a common Gram-negative bacterium that moves by a process called gliding motility. In myxobacteria, two distinct mechanisms for gliding have been discovered. S-type motility requires the extension, attachment, and retraction of type IV pili. The other mechanism, designated as A-type motility, may be driven by the secretion and swelling of slime; however, experiments to confirm or refute this model are still lacking and the force exerted by this mechanism has not been measured. A previously published experiment found that when an M. xanthus cell became stuck at one end, the cell underwent flailing motions. Based on this experiment, I propose an elastic model that can estimate the force produced by the A-motility engine and the bending modulus of a single myxobacterial cell. The model estimates a bending modulus of 3 × 10-14 erg cm and a force between 50-150 pN. This force is comparable to that predicted by slime extrusion, and the bending modulus is 30-fold smaller than that measured in Bacillus subtilis. This model suggests experiments that can further quantify this process.

AB - Myxococcus xanthus is a common Gram-negative bacterium that moves by a process called gliding motility. In myxobacteria, two distinct mechanisms for gliding have been discovered. S-type motility requires the extension, attachment, and retraction of type IV pili. The other mechanism, designated as A-type motility, may be driven by the secretion and swelling of slime; however, experiments to confirm or refute this model are still lacking and the force exerted by this mechanism has not been measured. A previously published experiment found that when an M. xanthus cell became stuck at one end, the cell underwent flailing motions. Based on this experiment, I propose an elastic model that can estimate the force produced by the A-motility engine and the bending modulus of a single myxobacterial cell. The model estimates a bending modulus of 3 × 10-14 erg cm and a force between 50-150 pN. This force is comparable to that predicted by slime extrusion, and the bending modulus is 30-fold smaller than that measured in Bacillus subtilis. This model suggests experiments that can further quantify this process.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=23244463557&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=23244463557&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1529/biophysj.105.062513

DO - 10.1529/biophysj.105.062513

M3 - Article

C2 - 15908584

AN - SCOPUS:23244463557

VL - 89

SP - 945

EP - 950

JO - Biophysical Journal

JF - Biophysical Journal

SN - 0006-3495

IS - 2

ER -