• Strategy

Membranes distinguish sweet from sour: colon bacilli

The membrane of colon bacilli cells find sweet-tasting chemicals and avoid bitter or sour ones via sensory proteins.

"Chemoreception occurs even in unicellular organisms…Protozoa such as amoebae and microbes such as colon bacilli show chemotaxis; they gather and escape from some chemical substances. The former is called positive chemotaxis and the latter negative chemotaxis. Colon bacilli show positive chemotaxis for amino acids tasting sweet and negative chemotaxis for chemical substances tasting strongly bitter or sour. This behavior is quite reasonable because substances tasting sweet become energy sources for living organisms whereas substances tasting strongly bitter or sour are often harmful." (Toko 2000:26)
About the inspiring organism

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Develop sensing mechanisms that detect when food has spoiled.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Food

Toko and Hayashi Lab
Kiyoshi Toko
Department of Electronic Device Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science and Electrical Engineering, Kyushu University
Toko, Kiyoshi. 2000. Biomimetic sensor technology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
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