The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Bacterial gliding

Bacterial gliding is a process whereby a bacterium can move under its own power. This process does not involve the use of flagella, which is a more common means of motility in bacteria. For many bacteria, the mechanism of gliding is unknown or only partially known, and it seems likely that in fact different bacteria use distinct mechanisms to achieve what is currently referred to as gliding. Gliding is prominent in cyanobacteria, myxobacteria and the cytophaga-flavobacteria .


  • A review article on this phenomenon. Mark. J. McBride (2001) "BACTERIAL GLIDING MOTILITY: Multiple Mechanisms for Cell Movement over Surfaces", Annual Review of Microbiology, 55: 49-75.
Last updated: 05-03-2005 02:30:17