2017 Volume 14 Pages 191-198
The bacterial flagellum is a supramolecular motility machine consisting of the basal body as a rotary motor, the hook as a universal joint, and the filament as a helical propeller. Intact structures of the bacterial flagella have been observed for different bacterial species by electron cryotomography and subtomogram averaging. The core structures of the basal body consisting of the C ring, the MS ring, the rod and the protein export apparatus, and their organization are well conserved, but novel and divergent structures have also been visualized to surround the conserved structure of the basal body. This suggests that the flagellar motors have adapted to function in various environments where bacteria live and survive. In this review, we will summarize our current findings on the divergent structures of the bacterial flagellar motor.