How bacteria switch between motile and biofilm life forms?

Bacteria are versatile organisms that instantly respond to changing environmental signals.Motility in bacteria is mediated by multi-protein complex thread like structure called flagella that allows bacteria to move towards favourable conditions.However, bacteria can also form sessile sedentary surface attached communities embedded in think polysaccharide matrix called biofilms.

A research paper published in ACS Chemical Biology by Dr.Jains’s group describes mechanism of switching between mono-flagellated motile and aflagellated sessile lifeform in human opportunistic pathogenic bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

This paper depicts atomic level details of a transcriptional master regulator proteinFleQ, that controls the expression of both flagellar and biofilm genes. Detailed mechanism of ATP hydrolysis is also elucidated. A unique sensor I motifhas been shown to be necessary for fine tuning the ATPase activity of FleQ.

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