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Chemotaxis in marine bacterium Vibrio alginolyticus

Xie, Li (2015) Chemotaxis in marine bacterium Vibrio alginolyticus. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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We investigated the motility pattern and chemotaxis system of the polarly flagellated marine bacterium Vibrio alginolyticus. V. alginolyticus executes 3-step (run-reverse-flick) cycles which are distinctively different from the 2-step (run-tumble) pattern of Escherichia coli. This marine bacterium backtracks its forward swimming path and randomizes its moving direction by flicking its flagellum at the end of the backward swimming interval. V. alginolyticus
has a similar chemotaxis system as E. coli, and our study showed that their chemotaxis networks respond to chemical cues in the same manner. However, at contrast to E. coli, in which the motor bias is regulate by the chemotaxis network, in V. alginolyticus, the switching rates of the flagellar motor is modulated so that swimming intervals in a favorable direction can be lengthened regardless of the motor rotation direction. As a result, despite their different motility patterns, both E. coli and V. alginolyticus use a biased random walk to migrate toward a nutrient source. To understand the effect of motility patterns on chemotaxis capacity, master equations similar to convection-diffusion equations were developed to describe the motion of these two bacteria in a chemical profile. It was found that by adopting the run-reverse-flick motility pattern, a 3-step
swimmer has the same drift velocity but its diffusivity is reduced by half compared to a 2-step swimmer. As a result of the smaller diffusivity, the former localizes better around a nutrient source but does not explore as efficiently as the latter. We thus speculate that the 3-step motility pattern suits better for the marine environment where searching is unproductive and it is more important to exploit an existing, though transient, resource.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Xie, Lilix11@pitt.eduLIX11
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWu, Xiao-Lunxlwu@pitt.eduXLWU
Committee MemberSalman , Hannahsalman@pitt.eduHSALMAN
Committee MemberGoldburg, Waltergoldburg@pitt.eduGOLDBURG
Committee MemberBoyanovsky, Danielboyan@pitt.eduBOYAN
Committee MemberGaldi, GALDI
Date: 14 January 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 April 2014
Approval Date: 14 January 2015
Submission Date: 2 December 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 127
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Physics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Marine bacterium, chemotaxis
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2015 18:30
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:25


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