Modeling polymorphic transformation of rotating bacterial flagella in a viscous fluid

William Ko, Sookkyung Lim, Wanho Lee, Yongsam Kim, Howard C. Berg, Charles Peskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The helical flagella that are attached to the cell body of bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium allow the cell to swim in a fluid environment. These flagella are capable of polymorphic transformation in that they take on various helical shapes that differ in helical pitch, radius, and chirality. We present a mathematical model of a single flagellum described by Kirchhoff rod theory that is immersed in a fluid governed by Stokes equations. We perform numerical simulations to demonstrate two mechanisms by which polymorphic transformation can occur, as observed in experiments. First, we consider a flagellar filament attached to a rotary motor in which transformations are triggered by a reversal of the direction of motor rotation [L. Turner, J. Bacteriol. 182, 2793 (2000)10.1128/JB.182.10.2793-2801.2000]. We then consider a filament that is fixed on one end and immersed in an external fluid flow [H. Hotani, J. Mol. Biol. 156, 791 (1982)10.1016/0022-2836(82)90142-5]. The detailed dynamics of the helical flagellum interacting with a viscous fluid is discussed and comparisons with experimental and theoretical results are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063106
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume95
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 14 2017

Fingerprint

viscous fluids
Viscous Fluid
Rotating
Filament
filaments
Modeling
salmonella
Fluid
Chirality
fluids
Stokes Equations
Cell
Escherichia
Reversal
chirality
Bacteria
bacteria
Escherichia Coli
fluid flow
Fluid Flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Modeling polymorphic transformation of rotating bacterial flagella in a viscous fluid. / Ko, William; Lim, Sookkyung; Lee, Wanho; Kim, Yongsam; Berg, Howard C.; Peskin, Charles.

In: Physical Review E, Vol. 95, No. 6, 063106, 14.06.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ko, William ; Lim, Sookkyung ; Lee, Wanho ; Kim, Yongsam ; Berg, Howard C. ; Peskin, Charles. / Modeling polymorphic transformation of rotating bacterial flagella in a viscous fluid. In: Physical Review E. 2017 ; Vol. 95, No. 6.
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