Description of Research Area

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

Mechanism of Polarized Formation of Large-Scale Vortex in Collective Bacterial Motion



Faculty of Science, Gakushuin University

Research Subject

All microorganisms maintain motile abilities to find their optimum environment to survive. Their motility machineries are diverse and extensively studied in the field of Biophysics and Evolutional biology. We here focus on two distinctive topics using advanced optical microscopes. (1) Mechanisms of rotary motors at the molecular level. F1-ATTPase is known to be world’s smallest rotary motor ever found. The other extreme is archaellar flagellar motor. Both motors are driven by the chemical energy of ATP hydrolysis, but their detailed mechanisms are still unknown. (2) Collective motion of bacteria. We found that Flavobacterium johnsoniae spontaneously form a large-scale vortex that rotates counterclockwise with no exception. We will address the essence of this unique behavior from theoretical and experimental aspects.

Research Partner

OIWA, Kazuhiro
Kobe Advanced ICT Research Center,
National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
NAKANE, Daisuke
Department of Physics, Gakushuin University
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