Chirality Transformations of Bacterial Flagella


Dan Coombs

Some bacterial flagella are normally helical in shape. When removed from
the cell body, attached by one end to a slide, and stressed by a viscous
flow, they undergo remarkable chirality transformation events. This
transformation begins at the attached end and propagates to the free end,
and is cyclical. We have developed a simple physical model for the
transformations which matches what is seen in experiments, and can be used
in a qualitative way to explain other interesting properties of flagella.



Last modified: Thu Jan 18 13:55:17 MST 2001