University of Exeter
Intracellular coordination of microswimming by flagella
Since the invention of the microscope, scientists have known that pond-dwelling algae can actually swim – powering their way through the fluid using tiny limbs called cilia and flagella. Only recently has it become clear that the very same structure drives important physiological and developmental processes within the human body. Motivated by this connection, we explore flagella-mediated swimming gaits and stereotyped behaviours in diverse species of algae, revealing the extent to which control of motility is driven intracellularly. These insights suggest that the capacity for fast transduction of signal to peripheral appendages may have evolved far earlier than previously thought.