A length difference of as little as 2 nm is enough to separate receptors, like these in Azospirillum brasilense that sense oxygen (28 nm array) and sources of energy like malate (30 nm array). Both receptors send signals to the single flagellar motor, promoting runs or direction switches to guide the bacterium through a combination of chemotaxis and aerotaxis (ordered movement in an oxygen gradient) to its target: plant roots. A. brasilense fixes nitrogen, boosting the growth of plants it colonizes.
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