Today at Berkeley Lab

Secrets of the Motor That Drives Archaea Revealed

An international team led by John Tainer of the Life Sciences Division and Sonja-Verena Albers of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology has solved the protein structure of the archaellum, the motor that propels motile species of Archaea (microorganisms), life’s third domain. The Albers lab zeroed in on the crucial protein with genetics, and Sophia Reindl of Tainer’s lab led the characterization using the 8.3.1 beamline and the SIBYLS beamline at the Advanced Light Source. A ring made of proteins hydrolyzes ATP and uses the energy to assemble and rotate the archaellum’s whiplike propeller. More>