The results of a new study led by scientists from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences have been published in the leading academic journal, Scientific Reports.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust and led by Professor of Evolutionary Biophysics Stuart Humphries and Research Assistant Dr Oscar Guadayol roig, the research examines the shape of bacteria.

Professor Stuart Humphries
Professor Stuart Humphries

Professor Humphries explained: “The main message is that the shape of bacteria is very important for how they move around, but most interesting is that this importance often derives from the physics of their environment. In this case as cells get longer they are less able to be rotated around which is the main way they are able to change direction when they move. The longest cells end up being restricted to mostly forwards and backwards movements.”

The paper, titled ‘Cell morphology governs directional control in swimming bacteria’, is now available to read online: