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Modelling bacterial flagellar growth

By M. Schmitt and H. Stark


The growth of bacterial flagellar filaments is a self-assembly process where flagellin molecules are transported through the narrow core of the flagellum and are added at the distal end. To model this situation, we generalize a growth process based on the TASEP model by allowing particles to move both forward and backward on the lattice. The bias in the forward and backward jump rates determines the lattice tip speed, which we analyze and also compare to simulations. For positive bias, the system is in a non-equilibrium steady state and exhibits boundary-induced phase transitions. The tip speed is constant. In the no-bias case we find that the length of the lattice grows as $N(t)\propto\sqrt{t} $, whereas for negative drift N(t)∝ln t. The latter result agrees with experimental data of bacterial flagellar growth

Publisher: EPS, SIF, EDP Sciences and IOP Publishing
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1209/0295-5075/96/28001
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