Navigation Links
Green algae move to the beat
Date:10/25/2013

This news release is available in German.

The beating of flagella is one of the basic principles of movement in the cellular cosmos. However, up to now, scientists were unsure as to how the movements of several of these small cellular appendages are synchronised. Dresden-based researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and the MPI for the Physics of Complex Systems have now succeeded in demonstrating how the green alga Chlamydomonas synchronises the movements of its two flagella using a resourceful rocking movement. To do this, the researchers started by developing a theoretical model which they were then able to substantiate in experiments with the microscopic breaststroke swimmers: when the two flagella lose their rhythm, the cell begins to rock. This causes the swimming movements to slow down or accelerate. The resulting synchronisation mechanism is based solely on the coupling of the two movements of the body and the flagella; no special sensors or chemical signals are needed.

"An alga is a wonderful model for investigating our research question because, with its two flagella, it shows us very clearly how several of these appendage-like structures are synchronised using mechanical forces alone," says Benjamin Friedrich from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems who headed the studies. How tens of thousands of molecular engines work together to set flagella in motion and synchronise them is a matter of great interest, as this mechanism underlies numerous processes: "The tiny cellular appendages are one of nature's greatest hits: they drive sperm and form big conveyor belts in the fallopian tubes and airways," explains Friedrich.

The cellular extensions, which are a mere ten micrometres long, beat around 30 times per second. In a flat observation chamber, the researchers allowed the single-celled green algae Chlamydomonas to swim around under their microscope lenses and then evaluated the swimming and bending movements on the microscope films: "From these films, we are able to reconstruct all of the mechanical forces at work in detail," says Friedrich. When the load increases, the flagellum beats more slowly just like a car engine that has to negotiate an incline. The strength and speed of the beat are linked to the movement of the body. This load dependency synchronises the beats of the two flagella and thus eliminates the need for special sensors or chemical signals.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Veikko Geyer
geyer@mpi-cbg.de
49-351-210-2891
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Team uses forest waste to develop cheaper, greener supercapacitors
2. Walgreens Mike Ellis Named First President of National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP)
3. Turfgrass tested in shallow green roof substrates
4. QUT develops software to reduce greenhouse gases
5. Green photon beams more agile than optical tweezers
6. A greener, more sustainable source of ingredients for widely used plastics
7. Sediment trapped behind dams makes them hot spots for greenhouse gas emissions
8. Deserts greening from rising CO2
9. Greenhouse gas likely altering ocean foodchain
10. Making hydrogenation greener
11. 21 percent of homes account for 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Green algae move to the beat
(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , ... and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, today ... bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that the ... the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University has ... for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food safety ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ... age and identity verification solutions, announced today they will ... 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... International Trade Center. Identity impacts the ... in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Janice Kephart , ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues ... President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: ... vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling ... all refugee applications are suspended by until at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)... and OXFORD, England , Aug. 16, ... consortium for biotech executive search and leadership development, and Virdis ... sectors, have created an exclusive alliance that enables clients to ... "For our clients here in the ... unparalleled access to a diverse population of leadership talent throughout ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... largest Asian exhibitions for analytical and scientific instruments. This year’s symposium, organized by ... Approaches in Mass Spectrometry for Bioanalytical Applications.” This dynamic presentation will discuss novel ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Coffea arabica ... biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational webinar, participants will learn about the ... as gain a better understanding of how genomics is important for coffee breeding ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... which will take place on September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in ... of Experimental Medicine, Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who leads ...
Breaking Biology Technology: