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Bacteria use chemotaxis to migrate towards environments that are better for growth. Chemoreceptors detect changes in attractant levels and signal through two-component systems to control swimming direction. This basic pathway is conserved across all chemotactic bacteria and archaea; however, recent work combining systems biology and genome sequencing has started to elucidate the additional complexity of the process in many bacterial species. This article focuses on one of the best understood complex networks, which is found in Rhodobacter sphaeroides and integrates sensory data about the external environment and the metabolic state of the cell to produce a balanced response at the flagellar motor.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Microbiol

Publication Date





153 - 165


Bacterial Proteins, Chemotaxis, Escherichia coli, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Signal Transduction