Bacterial flagellar motor as a multimodal biosensor

Ekaterina Krasnopeeva, Uriel E. Barboza-Perez, Jerko Rosko, Teuta Pilizota, Chien Jung Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Bacterial Flagellar Motor is one of nature's rare rotary molecular machines. It enables bacterial swimming and it is the key part of the bacterial chemotactic network, one of the best studied chemical signalling networks in biology, which enables bacteria to direct its movement in accordance with the chemical environment. The network can sense down to nanomolar concentrations of specific chemicals on the time scale of seconds. Motor's rotational speed is linearly proportional to the electrochemical gradients of either proton or sodium driving ions, while its direction is regulated by the chemotactic network. Recently, it has been discovered that motor is also a mechanosensor. Given these properties, we discuss the motor's potential to serve as a multifunctional biosensor and a tool for characterising and studying the external environment, the bacterial physiology itself and single molecular motor biophysics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Bacterial flagellar motor
  • Bacterial physiology
  • Biosensor
  • Chemotaxis
  • Mechanosensing
  • Proton motive force
  • Single molecular biophysics


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