Motility of electric cable bacteria

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

DOI

Cable bacteria are filamentous bacteria that electrically couple sulfide oxidation and oxygen reduction at centimeter distances, and observations in sediment environments have suggested that they are motile. By time-lapse microscopy, we found that cable bacteria used gliding motility on surfaces with a highly variable speed of 0.50.3 ms1 (meanstandard deviation) and time between reversals of 155108 s. They frequently moved forward in loops, and formation of twisted loops revealed helical rotation of the filaments. Cable bacteria responded to chemical gradients in their environment, and around the oxic-anoxic interface, they curled and piled up, with straight parts connecting back to the source of sulfide. Thus, it appears that motility serves the cable bacteria in establishing and keeping optimal connections between their distant electron donor and acceptors in a dynamic sediment environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume82
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)3816-3821
Number of pages6
ISSN0099-2240
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2016

    Keywords

  • Cable bacteria, MOTILITY

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