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June 20, 2020

Image of an idealized H. pylori with transition from microscopy image

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori maintains its helical shape by targeting cell-wall synthesis to two areas with opposite curvature properties. To determine where H. pylori cells add new wall components, the researchers distinguished between areas of positive curvature. In this image, in the background are microscope images of H. pylori cells with new wall components glowing blue and a cell wall-directing protein in yellow. In the foreground is an idealized H. pylori cell showing the transition from the microscopy images (in blue and yellow on the right) to the curvature (in red and blue in the middle). The triangular meshwork on the left represents the mathematically idealized cell surface.

[Research supported by National Science Foundation grants DGE 0718124, DGE 1256082 and PHY 1734030.]

Learn more in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center news story How Helicobacter stays helical. (Date image taken: Dec. 16, 2019; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: June 20, 2020)

Credit: Jennifer A. Taylor/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


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