Description of Research Area

A03: Function | Proposed Research Projects (2016-2017)

Torque Generation by Fluctuating Structure of Bacterial Flagellar Motor


TOYABE, Shoichi

Department of Applied Physics, Tohoku University

Research Subject

Bacterial flagella motor is an ultra high performance actuator that rotates fast at 300 Hz and drives the 30 um/s fast-swimming of bacteria. Flagella motor consists of a rotor and about 10 stator units. Interestingly, it was found that the stators form dynamic structures to regulate its torque magnitude. Each stator binds to/releases from the rotor during rotations dynamically. As the load on the motor increases, the motor increases the number of stators and strengthens its torque. However, the mechanism of this feedback control remains unclear. We combine a high-accuracy torque control/measurement and a direct observation of the binding and release of stators to measure essential quantities of the motor. We explore the physics of this "torque production by fluctuating nonequilibrium structure" of the flagellar motor.

Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) on Innovative Areas, MEXT, Japan
Synergy of Fluctuation and Structure : Quest for Universal Laws in Non-Equilibrium Systems