A Caltech Library Service

Temporal comparisons in bacterial chemotaxis

Segall, Jeffrey E. and Block, Steven M. and Berg, Howard C. (1986) Temporal comparisons in bacterial chemotaxis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 83 (23). pp. 8987-8991. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC387059. doi:10.1073/pnas.83.23.8987.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Responses of tethered cells of Escherichia coli to impulse, step, exponential-ramp or exponentiated sine-wave stimuli are internally consistent, provided that allowance is made for the nonlinear effect of thresholds. This result confirms that wild-type cells exposed to stimuli in the physiological range make short-term temporal comparisons extending 4 sec into the past: the past second is given a positive weighting, the previous 3 sec are given a negative weighting, and the cells respond to the difference. cheRcheB mutants (defective in methylation and demethylation) weight the past second in a manner similar to the wild type, but they do not make short-term temporal comparisons. When exposed to small steps delivered iontophoretically, they fail to adapt over periods of up to 12 sec; when exposed to longer steps in a flow cell, they partially adapt, but with a decay time of >30 sec. cheZ mutants use a weighting that extends at least 40 sec into the past. The gain of the chemotactic system is large: the change in occupancy of the receptor molecule produces a significant response.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Additional Information:© 1986 by the National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Howard C. Berg, August 18, 1986. We thank M. Patricia Conley for carrying out the flow-cell experiments. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant AI16478. Figs. 1, 2, and 4A were constructed from a large set of stimulus-response records, subsets of which were described earlier (figures 3A, 4, and 7A, respectively, of ref. 14). Figs. 1 and 3B were included in a lecture given at a NATO Advanced Study Institute (30). The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:impulse response; step response; adaptation; gain
Issue or Number:23
PubMed Central ID:PMC387059
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:SEGpnas86
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10178
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Apr 2008
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 21:05

Repository Staff Only: item control page