Attraction by repellents: an error in sensory information processing by bacterial mutants

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Science  07 Jul 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4350, pp. 63-65
DOI: 10.1126/science.351803


Normal Escherichia coli bacteria are repelled by acetate, benzoate, and indole and attracted by alpha-aminoisobutyrate. We have isolated mutants that are attracted to acetate, benzoate, and indole and may be repelled by alpha-aminoisobutyrate. These reversed-taxis mutants are defective in a central processing component: a set of methylated proteins known as MCP 1. The mechanism of reversal of taxis is discussed.