Biological & Soft Matter Seminar: Swimming with magnets: motility of magnetotactic bacteria

Prof. Stefan Klumpp - Goettingen University

27 May 2019, 14:00 
Wolfson Engineering Building, Room 206 
Biological & Soft Matter Seminar


Magnetotatic bacteria align along magnetic field lines with the help of a linear chain of magnetic organelles called magnetosomes. Magnetosomes contain magnetic nanoparticles and are aligned along a cytoskeletal filament, forming a cellular compass needle. Thus, when these bacteria swim by rotating their flagella, they follow the magnetic field, a behavior known as magnetotaxis. These bacteria provide a nice model system to study the interplay of generic physical interactions with specific biological functionality. In the talk, I will discuss structural aspects of the magnetosome chain, specifically its stability and self-assembly, as well as the patterns of magnetotactic motion, which arise from the coupling between magnetotaxis and aerotaxis, based on our combined  theoretical and experimental investigations.

Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
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