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  • Strategy

Bacteria sense and move toward chemicals: Escherichia coli


Escherichia coli bacteria / Rocky Mounta.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

The membrane of E. coli bacteria detects chemicals of interest via transmembrane receptor proteins.

"Chemotactic bacteria navigate complex chemical environments by coupling sophisticated information processing capabilities to powerful molecular motors that propel the cells forward. Escherichia coli recognize chemoattractants using five transmembrane receptor proteins, which cluster with one another and interact with a set of well-characterized cytosolic proteins to effect changes in the directional rotation of the flagellar motor." (Topp 2007:6807)
About the inspiring organism
Escherichia coli
Escherichia coli (Migula 1895) Castellani and Chalmers 1919 (Approved Lists 1980)

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Some organism data provided by: BIOS: Bacteriology Insight Orienting System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Cell mimics that autonomously follow arbitrary chemical signals, such as pollutants or disease markers to degrade pollutants, synthesize and release therapeutics, or transport loads.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Remediation, medical, chemical manufacturing

Topp, S.; Gallivan, J. P. 2007. Guiding Bacteria with Small Molecules and RNA. J. Am. Chem. Soc.
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