Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Motility in trypanosomes is achieved through the undulating behaviour of a single "9 + 2" flagellum; normally the flagellar waves begin at the flagellar tip and propagate towards the base. For flagella in general, however, propagation is from base-to-tip and it is believed that bend formation, and sustained regular oscillation, depend upon a localised resistance to inter-doublet sliding - which is normally conferred by structures at the flagellar base, typically the basal body. We therefore predicted that in trypanosomes there must be a resistive structure at the flagellar tip. Electron micrographs of Crithidia deanei, Herpetomonas megaseliae, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major have confirmed that such attachments are present. Thus, it can be assumed that in trypanosomes microtubule sliding at the flagellar tip is resisted sufficiently to permit bend formation.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Motil Cytoskeleton

Publication Date





741 - 746


Animals, Cell Movement, Crithidia, Flagella, Leishmania major, Trypanosoma, Trypanosoma brucei brucei