FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bacterial flagellum structure. Computer artwork of a section through a bacterial cell wall showing the structure of the flagellum base. The flagellum, used for locomotion, is a protein filament designed to rotate like a propeller and move the bacterium forward. The base of the flagellum is composed of a series of rings that allow this helical movement. The entire unit can reach speeds of 200-1000 revolutions per minute. The hook (orange) is the sharp bend in the flagellum where it leaves the cell. Some bacteria have several flagella.
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