Research Topic

Flagellar Motors and Force Sensing in Bacteria and Archaea

About this Research Topic

The machinery behind microbial swimming is an astounding example of natural nanotechnology. Powered by rotary molecular motors in bacteria and archaea, these motors are the end point of chemotaxis which help microbes navigate their surroundings to improve their environment. The most well understood motor, in bacteria, is mechanosensitive, recruiting stator units to drive rotation in response to increased loads. Thus these motors not only generate force and torque, but also are involved in surface sensing and mechanosensing. Bacterial motility underlies the virulence of pathogens, especially those which infect areas under high flow, as well as the linkage between force sensing, quorum sensing, and biofilm formation. Bacterial motility and surface interactions are a key area of study in the face of rising antimicrobial resistance, which is one of the dominant public health issues of this century.

In this Research Topic we would like to stimulate publications from the fields of microbiology, molecular microbiology, evolutionary microbiology, biophysics, structural biology and biochemistry to increase our understanding of how bacteria and archaea generate and sense force to interact with their environment. We are interested in submissions not only in the study of single cell biophysics, but also in terms of microbial ecology the broader consequences of motor output at the population level.

We encourage submissions in the areas of:
● Structure and function of the bacterial and archaeal flagellar motors.
● Biochemistry and molecular biology of the bacterial and archaeal flagellar motors.
● Swarming motility in bacteria.
● Surface and force sensing in bacteria.
● Surface interactions in bacteria.
● Evolution of microbial motility and experimental evolution of motility.
● Microbial ecology of motility in competition.


Keywords: flagellar, chemotaxis, motility, surface sensing, swarming, mechanosensing, molecular motors, quorum sensing, taxis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The machinery behind microbial swimming is an astounding example of natural nanotechnology. Powered by rotary molecular motors in bacteria and archaea, these motors are the end point of chemotaxis which help microbes navigate their surroundings to improve their environment. The most well understood motor, in bacteria, is mechanosensitive, recruiting stator units to drive rotation in response to increased loads. Thus these motors not only generate force and torque, but also are involved in surface sensing and mechanosensing. Bacterial motility underlies the virulence of pathogens, especially those which infect areas under high flow, as well as the linkage between force sensing, quorum sensing, and biofilm formation. Bacterial motility and surface interactions are a key area of study in the face of rising antimicrobial resistance, which is one of the dominant public health issues of this century.

In this Research Topic we would like to stimulate publications from the fields of microbiology, molecular microbiology, evolutionary microbiology, biophysics, structural biology and biochemistry to increase our understanding of how bacteria and archaea generate and sense force to interact with their environment. We are interested in submissions not only in the study of single cell biophysics, but also in terms of microbial ecology the broader consequences of motor output at the population level.

We encourage submissions in the areas of:
● Structure and function of the bacterial and archaeal flagellar motors.
● Biochemistry and molecular biology of the bacterial and archaeal flagellar motors.
● Swarming motility in bacteria.
● Surface and force sensing in bacteria.
● Surface interactions in bacteria.
● Evolution of microbial motility and experimental evolution of motility.
● Microbial ecology of motility in competition.


Keywords: flagellar, chemotaxis, motility, surface sensing, swarming, mechanosensing, molecular motors, quorum sensing, taxis


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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