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Chapter 32 : All Because of a Butterfly

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Abstract:

The author took a course in microbiology with C. B. van Niel at the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, California. He decided to study the behavior of bacteria and then ultimately broaden out to the behavior of all other organisms. He showed that bacteria indeed do have sensory receptors. Some chemicals are not attractants for motile bacteria, even though the bacteria can use them perfectly well, simply because sensory receptors are not there for those chemicals. The author's research group isolated mutants that cannot respond to this or that attractant because of missing this or that receptor (like people who can't smell or taste certain things). Next they isolated other mutants that are not attracted or repelled by anything at all, though fully motile; they are missing the pathway from sensory receptors to the organs of locomotion-the flagella (like a person defective in the part of the nervous system that carries information from the nose or tongue to the legs). It was then the sensory receptors were identified as structures specialized for sensing an attractant or a repellent (methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins). Some of the components that carry the information from the sensory receptors to the flagella (chemotaxis, or Che, proteins) were identified.

Citation: Adler J. 2000. All Because of a Butterfly, p 253-257. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch32

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Escherichia coli
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Chemicals
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Figure 1

A bacterium with flagella.

Citation: Adler J. 2000. All Because of a Butterfly, p 253-257. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch32
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Image of Figure 2
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Citation: Adler J. 2000. All Because of a Butterfly, p 253-257. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch32
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References

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1. Tisa, L. S.,, and J. Adler. 1995. Chemotactic properties of Escherichia coli mutants having abnormal Ca 2+ content. J. Bacteriol. 177: 7112 7118.
2. Lake, E. M.,, H. Jiang,, F. R. Blattner,, and J. Adler. 1995. Analogues of aspartate and glutamate active at synapses are attractants for Escherichia coli. Cell. Molec. Neurobiol. 15: 283 288.
3. Li, C.,, and J. Adler. 1993. Escherichia coli shows two types of behavioral responses to osmotic upshift. J. Bacteriol. 175: 2564 2567.
4. Adler, J. 1987. How motile bacteria are attracted and repelled by chemicals: An approach to neurobiology. Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler 368: 163 173.
5. Eisenbach, M., and J. Adler. 1981. Bacterial cell envelopes with functional flagella. J. Biol. Chem. 256: 8807 8841.
6. Goy, M. F.,, M. S. Springer,, and J. Adler. 1977. Sensory transduction in Escherichia coli: Role of a protein methylation reaction in sensory adaptation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74: 4964 4968.
7. Springer, M. S.,, M. F. Goy,, and J. Adler. 1977. Sensory transduction in Escherichia coli: Two complementary pathways of information processing that involve methylated proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74: 3312 3316.
8. Adler, J. 1976. The sensing of chemicals by bacteria. Sci. Am. 234: 40 47.
9. Adler, J. 1975. Chemotaxis in bacteria. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 44: 341 356.
10. Kort, E. N.,, M. F. Goy,, S. H. Larsen,, and J. Adler. 1975. Methylation of a membrane protein involved in bacterial chemotoxis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 72: 3939 3943.
11. Adler, J.,, G. L. Hazelbauer,, and M. M. Dahl. 1974. Chemotaxis towards sugars in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 115: 824 847.
12. DePamphilis, M. L.,, and J. Adler. 1971. Fine structure and isolation of the hook-basal body complex of flagella from Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. J. Bacteriol. 105: 384 395.
13. Armstrong, J. B.,, and J. Adler. 1969. Location of genes for motility and chemotaxis on the Escherichia coli genetic map. J. Bacteriol. 97: 156 161.
14. Adler, J. 1969. Chemoreceptors in bacteria. Science 166: 1588 1597.

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