Flagella: Describe its Structure, Types, And Function

Biology

Flagella Definition

Flagella are viewed as hair-like structures with the help of a microscope for the migration of a cell and the word “flagellum” means “whip”.

The flagella have a whip-like appearance and help push cells through the fluid. Some special flagella are used as sensory organs that can change pH and temperature in some organisms.

They are filamentous structures found in Achaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

  • Achaea flagella bearers are not identical.
  • Bacterial flagella are a spiral, curved helical structure, at the bottom of which is composed of a rotating motor and made of the flagellum. Passing through the axis between the hook and the substrate passes through a protein loop in the cell membrane.
  • Eukaryotic flagella are complex cell projections that can collide back and forth and are present in gametes of native cells, plants, and animals. It is made up of a protein called tubulin.
Flagella
Flagella

Types of Flagella

There are four types of flagella:

Monotrichous

There is a single flagellum at one end or the other end. These are called polar flagella and can rotate clockwise and counterclockwise. The clockwise movement moves the creature forward, and the counterclockwise movement pulls it backward.

Peritrichous

Many flagella are associated with the whole organism. These are not polar flagella, as they are found throughout the organism. These flagella rotate counterclockwise and form a bunch, which moves the creature in one direction. If some flagella begin to break and rotate clockwise, the organism will not move in any direction and start rolling.

Lophotrichous

The second flagella at the other end of the organism. They are called polar flagella and can rotate counterclockwise. The clockwise movement moves the creature forward, and the counterclockwise movement pulls it backward.

Amphitrichous

There are single flagella on both ends of the organism. These are called polar flagella and can rotate clockwise and counterclockwise. The clockwise movement moves the creature forward, and the counterclockwise movement pulls it backward.

Function of Flagella

Flagella is a filamentous protein structure found in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes, although they are most common in bacteria. They are commonly used to push cells through fluids (bacteria and sperm). However, flagella have many other specific functions. Some eukaryotic cells use flagellum to increase fertility rates. Other eukaryotic and bacterial flagella can be used to sense environmental changes such as temperature or pH disturbances. The latest research by Chlamydomonas Reinhardt suggests that flagella can also be used as a secretory organ, but this discovery will take longer to fully understand.

Examples of Flagella

Depending on the organism, flagella may be composed of different structures, especially when comparing eukaryotic and bacterial flagella. Since eukaryotes are usually complex organisms, attached flagella are also more complex. Flagella are made up of microtubules, which are made up of a protein called tubulin. Nine pairs of microtubules surround the other two pairs of microtubules at the center, forming the core of flagellum. It is a nine plus two arrangement. The entire 9 plus 2 structure is fixed in the body of the organism. These bundled microtubules use ATP to tilt back and forth like a whip.

Although some multicellular eukaryotes have true flagella, about half of the population produces cells in the form of sperm. It is the only cell in the human flagellum, for good reason. In order to reach the egg through the vagina, the sperm must be able to swim or move for long distances (compared to cell and body size). Without flagella, there is very little chance of fertilization or population stability.

On the other hand, the structure and function of bacterial flagella are completely different from their eukaryotic counterparts. This flagellum is made of a protein called flagellin. ATP is not required because the bacterial flagella can use the energy of proton strength. This means that energy comes from the ion gradient in the cytoplasm (usually hydrogen or sodium). These flagella are in a spiral shape and rotate like a windmill to move organisms without moving them back and forth. Escherichia coli uses this windmill-like motion to push the urethra and cause urinary tract infections. Salmonella enteritidis is a harmful pathogen that uses several pinwheel flagellum to infect a human host.

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