Special Reviews

Microbial Behavior in a Heterogeneous World

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Science  10 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5570, pp. 1068-1071
DOI: 10.1126/science.1070118

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Abstract

Most microorganisms are motile during at least part of their life cycle, because they need to find optimal conditions in a patchy world. The sheer volume of microorganisms in the biosphere means that their motile sensory behavior also contributes to the global transformation and cycling of matter. How microorganisms move and how they orient themselves using environmental cues are integral to understanding the complex structure and function of microbial communities, but although motility in response to external stimuli was first described more than 120 years ago, understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved has only been achieved more recently.

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