Infoscience

Review

Bacterial mechanotransduction

Bacteria rapidly adapt to changes in their environment by leveraging sensing systems that permanently probe their surroundings. One common assumption is that such systems are responsive to signals that are chemical in nature. Yet, bacteria frequently experience changes in mechanical forces, for example as they transition from planktonic to sessile states. Do single bacteria actively sense and respond to mechanical forces? I here briefly review evidence indicating that bacteria actively respond to mechanical stimuli, and along concisely describe their intricate machinery enabling the transduction of force into biochemical activity.

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