Learn More
Bacteria face the challenging requirement to maintain their shape and avoid rupture due to the high internal turgor pressure, but simultaneously permit the import and export of nutrients, chemical signals, and virulence factors. The bacterial cell wall, a mesh-like structure composed of cross-linked strands of peptidoglycan, fulfills both needs by being(More)
The bacterial flagellum is one of nature's most amazing and well-studied nanomachines. Its cell-wall-anchored motor uses chemical energy to rotate a microns-long filament and propel the bacterium towards nutrients and away from toxins. While much is known about flagellar motors from certain model organisms, their diversity across the bacterial kingdom is(More)
The bacterium Ralstonia eutropha forms cytoplasmic granules of polyhydroxybutyrate that are a source of biodegradable thermoplastic. While much is known about the biochemistry of polyhydroxybutyrate production, the cell biology of granule formation and growth remains unclear. Previous studies have suggested that granules form either in the inner membrane,(More)
Type III secretion systems (T3SSs) are bacterial membrane-embedded nanomachines designed to export specifically targeted proteins from the bacterial cytoplasm. Secretion through T3SS is governed by a subset of inner membrane proteins termed the 'export apparatus'. We show that a key member of the Shigella flexneri export apparatus, MxiA, assembles into a(More)
While much is already known about the basic metabolism of bacterial cells, many fundamental questions are still surprisingly unanswered, including for instance how they generate and maintain specific cell shapes, establish polarity, segregate their genomes, and divide. In order to understand these phenomena, imaging technologies are needed that bridge the(More)
Bacterial chemoreceptors cluster into exquisitively sensitive, tunable, highly ordered, polar arrays. While these arrays serve as paradigms of cell signalling in general, it remains unclear what conformational changes transduce signals from the periplasmic tips, where attractants and repellents bind, to the cytoplasmic signalling domains. Conflicting(More)
The waning effectiveness of established tuberculosis treatments due to the rise of multi and extensively drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, coupled with the synergism of HIV infection, demands basic research efforts to inform focused drug development programs. Structural genomics projects provide rich sources of information for the(More)
The bacterial cell wall is a mesh polymer of peptidoglycan--linear glycan strands cross-linked by flexible peptides--that determines cell shape and provides physical protection. While the glycan strands in thin 'Gram-negative' peptidoglycan are known to run circumferentially around the cell, the architecture of the thicker 'Gram-positive' form remains(More)
Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most successful food-borne human pathogens. Here we use electron cryotomography to explore the ultrastructure of C. jejuni cells in logarithmically growing cultures. This provides the first look at this pathogen in a near-native state at macromolecular resolution (~5 nm). We find a surprisingly complex polar architecture(More)