Changes in Membrane Potential upon Chemotactic Stimulation of Azospirillum brasilense

  • Igor B. Zhulin
  • Lisa E. Sarmiento
  • Barry L. Taylor
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 37)


Azospirillum brasilense is capable of aerotaxis (Barak et al., 1982), redox taxis (Grishanin et al., 1991), and chemotaxis towards different organic compounds (Barak et al., 1983). The aerotactic response in A. brasilense was shown to be dependent on electron flow through the redox chain and consequent changes in the proton motive force (pmf) (Grishanin et al., 1991). The functioning redox chain was shown to be responsible for producing several types of behavioral responses in bacteria including aerotaxis, phototaxis and some cases of chemotaxis. The proton motive force generated by electron transport is thought to be a parameter measured by the cell in order to produce these tactic responses (Taylor, 1983). Since A. brasilense lacks dedicated chemoreceptors or methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (Zhulin and Armitage, 1993), we propose that the main chemotaxis pathway in this bacterium might be dependent on pmf-sensing. In this paper, we present data supporting this proposal. Changes in chemotactic behavior of A. brasilense coincided with changes in membrane potential, the main component of the proton motive force.


Membrane Potential Chemotactic Response Proton Motive Force Azospirillum Brasilense Reversal Frequency 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor B. Zhulin
    • 1
  • Lisa E. Sarmiento
    • 1
  • Barry L. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Molecular GeneticsLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA

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