This chapter describes the Caulobacter regulatory cascade that controls flagellar morphogenesis and then compares the observed mechanisms to those that appear in other prokaryotic developmental systems. It also focuses on the freshwater Caulobacter crescentus, which is the best known species of the group. Caulobacters are dimorphic, Gram-negative bacteria which are found in fresh water, salt water, and soils. Caulobacters are well adapted to survival under the conditions of limited nutrients. The stalked cell attaches to the surfaces using the holdfast at the end of the stalk, whereas the motile cell (swarmer) can undergo chemotaxis, swimming toward a more favorable location. The chapter concludes that, ecologically, Caulobacter exploits two survival strategies each generation: one cell remains and one swims away.
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