Scientists face a lot of challenges every day. According to their interests, they investigate new treatments to cure diseases, bioremediation schemes, answer unsolved mysteries, among others. Bacteria play an important role in the answer to these challenges. Not only in the biological field but also in engineering, these unicellular organisms have been fundamental. In recent times, they have revolutionized the food and chemical industry. Due to their importance, it is crucial for engineers to understand their properties. In biology, bacteria have a vital use, because they have helped to understand their physiology. This serves as a way to understand how the bacterium works.
Motile bacteria and their motion structures have been widely studied. Another important method of movement is chemotaxis which is the ability of an organism to direct their motion to attractants such as food and away from repellents such as poisons. But chemotaxis is not the only motion-method of bacterium. The most common structure is the flagella, but there are other types, such as pili, junctional pore and cytoskeleton [Bardy S. et al]. The picture below shows chemotaxis for flagellated bacteria. It presents two swimming ways: run and tumble. The tumble movement allows the bacteria to randomize the direction of their movements. [Webre D, et al]
In recent times, the scientific community has been worried about pollution. Is has been demonstrated that bacterial chemotaxis can aid in solving these problems. Researchers from the University of North Carolina realized a studied with Pseudomonas putida G7, chemotactic bacteria to naphthalene a pollutant that can be found at wood-treatment sides. Chemotaxis allows the bacteria to move to higher concentrations of pollutants, increasing the concentration gradient and the rate of degradation. It’s of vital importance to develop new types of renewable energy, as we need to stop depending on fosile fuels. Working with bacteria and their structures allows scientists and engineers to develop new methods to work with bioremediation.
Jessica Soto Rodriguez