The swimming pattern of bacteria with single polar flagella has usually been described as "run and reverse". We observed the swimming traces of monotrichously flagellated Vibrio alginolyticus cells and examined the relationship between the swimming pattern and the sense of progress. Swimming in regions other than a solid surface was confirmed to be linear run and reverse. Near a solid surface, the traces consisted of "run and arc"; the cells were found to curve sharply during backward swimming, while they progressed linearly during forward swimming. The "run and arc" swimming pattern may play an important role in the chemotaxis strategy of marine bacteria at solid surfaces.
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