Rapid changes in flagellar rotation induced by external electric pulses

N. Kami-ike, S. Kudo, H. Hotani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The bacterial flagellar motor is the only molecular rotary machine found in living organisms, converting the protonmotive force, i.e., the membrane voltage and proton gradients across the cell membrane, into the mechanical force of rotation (torque). We have developed a method for holding a bacterial cell at the tip of a glass micropipette and applying electric pulses through the micropipette. This method has enabled us to observe the dynamical responses of flagellar rotation to electric pulses that change the membrane voltage transiently and repeatedly. We have observed that acceleration and deceleration of motor rotation are induced by application of these electric pulses. The change in the rotation rate occurred within 5 ms after pulse application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1350-1355
Number of pages6
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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