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Listeria Motility

Listeria live an interesting pathogenic life cycle inside their host cell. They are able to hijack the internal actin network and use it as a means of transportation around the host cell. They do this by locally polymerizing actin at one end, forming an actin tail which remains stationary in the cytoplasm, and hence the polymerization propels them forward. Julie Theriot came down from Stanford to help us get this experiment going, and some of our students took this project very seriously and are now drafting a publication and research proposal! But just to give you an idea, we've included some great pictures and movies of the amazing paths they trace during this polymerization-motility process.


These movies are time lapsed taken in phase contrast. They may take a moment to load, but are well worth the wait.





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