Modeling Torque Versus Speed, Shot Noise, and Rotational Diffusion of the Bacterial Flagellar Motor

Thierry Mora, Howard Yu, Ned S. Wingreen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a minimal physical model for the flagellar motor that enables bacteria to swim. Our model explains the experimentally measured torque-speed relationship of the proton-driven E. coli motor at various pH and temperature conditions. In particular, the dramatic drop of torque at high rotation speeds (the "knee") is shown to arise from saturation of the proton flux. Moreover, we show that shot noise in the proton current dominates the diffusion of motor rotation at low loads. This suggests a new way to probe the discreteness of the energy source, analogous to measurements of charge quantization in superconducting tunnel junctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number248102
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume103
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 8 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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