This Week's Discoveries | 7 July 2020
- Tuesday 7 July 2020
- Kaltura Live Room (see link below)
Chemosensory arrays: the nose of bacteria
Join the lecture in Kaltura Live Room
Wen Yang (IBL)
Wen is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) and also works at the Netherlands Centre for Electron Nanoscopy (NeCEN) where she works as a microscopist. Her research focuses on illustrating the structural variability of the bacterial chemosensory arrays using cryo-electron tomography.
Across all domains of life, seeking favorable environmental conditions for survival is a common behavior. Even the simplest life forms, such as motile bacteria, are capable of detecting the chemicals in their immediate surroundings. Some bacteria are equipped with macromolecular machinery, termed chemosensory arrays, as their “nose” for sensing specific chemicals. The chemoreceptor proteins in the arrays exhibit an exquisite hexagonal pattern, which is found highly conserved in bacteria across far evolutionary distance. We recently started to reveal the compositional and structural diversity underneath the universal pattern of bacterial chemosensory arrays. Such findings inspire us to further understand and appreciate the molecular architecture of the chemosensory arrays, and how it allows the adaptation of chemosensing that is suitable for bacteria’s specific surviving niche.