6.4 Flagella Patterns

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    Flagella Patterns

    Once assembled, flagella can work in different ways. The motor is bidirectional, and can rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise. Depending on the number and location of flagella on the cell (and the cell’s shape), this can push the cell, pull it, or give rise to even more complicated swimming behavior. Some bacterial species, like the Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus you just saw, are monotrichous (“single haired”), with one flagellum located at one pole to push/pull the cell. Other species, like the Campylobacter jejuni here, have bipolar flagella, one at each end. Still others are lophotrichous (“crest-haired”), with a clump of flagella (⇩).

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