Sliding on the surface: bacterial spreading without an active motor

Theresa Holscher, Ákos T. Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Bacteria are able to translocate over surfaces using different types of active and passive motility mechanisms. Sliding is one of the passive types of movement since it is powered by the pushing force of dividing cells and additional factors facilitating the expansion over surfaces. In this review, we describe the sliding proficient bacteria that were previously investigated in details highlighting the sliding facilitating compounds and the regulation of sliding motility. Besides surfactants that reduce the friction between cells and substratum, other compounds including exopolysaccharides, hydrophobic proteins, or glycopeptidolipids where discovered to promote sliding. Therefore, we present the sliding bacteria in three groups depending on the additional compound required for sliding. Despite recent accomplishments in sliding research there are still many open questions about the mechanisms underlying sliding motility and its regulation in diverse bacterial species.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2537-2545
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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