The three adaptation systems of Bacillus subtilis chemotaxis

Trends Microbiol. 2008 Oct;16(10):480-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Sep 4.


Adaptation has a crucial role in the gradient-sensing mechanism that underlies bacterial chemotaxis. The Escherichia coli chemotaxis pathway uses a single adaptation system involving reversible receptor methylation. In Bacillus subtilis, the chemotaxis pathway seems to use three adaptation systems. One involves reversible receptor methylation, although quite differently than in E. coli. The other two involve CheC, CheD and CheV, which are chemotaxis proteins not found in E. coli. Remarkably, no one system is absolutely required for adaptation or is independently capable of generating adaptation. In this review, we discuss these three novel adaptation systems in B. subtilis and propose a model for their integration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / chemistry
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chemotaxis*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Molecular Structure


  • Bacterial Proteins