Istituto di Biofisica     
Cosson J., Huitorel P., Barsanti L., Walne P. L., Gualtieri P. Flagellar Movements and Controlling Apparatus in Flagellates. In: Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, vol. 20 (4) pp. 297 - 308. CRC Press, 2001.
Crawling, sliding, and swimming are only a few of the many motile responses of microorganisms to environmental cues. However, what is commonly defined as movement is just the final, often the only, detectable step of a series of complex intracellular reactions based on sophisticated locomotory machineries that function according to well-defined locomotory strategies and patterns. A simple motion can arise by a shape change of permanently linked molecules, and a more complex one by reversible interactions the causing movement of filaments relative to each other, or by reversible assembly and disassembly of elements, etc., all of which have in common the need for energy input. Proteins can undergo these changes in response to any modification of their environment and be considered the most likely molecules serving motor functions in real systems. The analysis of microorganism motors and motor controlling devices such as flagella and their accessory components suggests that the movement of these structures can be considered an example of propagation of sensory information along lattice-like structures by means of repetitive protein conformational changes. These intracellular devices taken as a whole could represent the network condensing both the information and motor systems in aneural microorganisms.
Subject Locomotory devices
Accessory structures
Paraflagellar rod
Motion models

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