Harvard University - Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology

HOWARD C. BERG

Berg
Herchel Smith Professor of Physics
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Email: hberg@mcb.harvard.edu
Phone: 617-495-0924

Mail: BL 3063A
The Biological Labs
16 Divinity Ave
Cambridge, MA  02138

Berg Lab Website
Members of the Berg Lab
List of Publications from PubMed

Courses

MCB 212. Topics in Biophysics
Catalog Number: 3351  View Course Website
Term: Spring Term 2014-2015.
Instructor: Howard Berg
Course Level: Primarily for Graduates
Description: Motility and sensory transduction; chemotaxis in bacteria; flagellar motility; prokaryotic and eukaryotic motor molecules.
Note: Offered in alternate years. A term paper and seminar are required.
Meetings: F., 2:30-4
MCB 378. Motile Behavior of Bacteria
Catalog Number: 5729  View Course Website
Term: Fall Term And Spring Term 2014-2015.
Instructor: Howard Berg
Course Level: Exclusively for Graduates
BIOPHYS 309. Motile Behavior of Bacteria
Catalog Number: 2070  View Course Website
Term: Fall Term And Spring Term 2014-2015.
Instructor: Howard Berg
Course Level: Exclusively for Graduates
PHYSICS 385a. Topics in Biophysics
Catalog Number: 5901  View Course Website
Term: Fall Term And Spring Term 2014-2015.
Instructor: Howard Berg
Course Level: Exclusively for Graduates
PHYSICS 385b. Topics in Biophysics
Catalog Number: 5902  View Course Website
Term: Fall Term And Spring Term 2014-2015.
Instructor: Howard Berg
Course Level: Exclusively for Graduates
(View all MCB Courses)

Research

Motile behavior of bacteria

Flagellated bacteria possess a remarkable motility system based on a reversible rotary motor linked by a flexible coupling (the proximal hook) to a thin helical propeller (the flagellar filament). The motor derives its energy from protons driven into the cell by chemical gradients or electrical fields. The direction of the motor rotation depends in part on signals generated by sensory systems, of which the best studied analyzes chemical stimuli. Our research group is trying to learn how the motor works, the nature of the signal that controls the motor's direction of rotation, and how this signal is processed by the chemical sensory system. These questions are being approached by a variety of molecular-genetic and physical techniques. The goal is an understanding of chemiosmotic coupling and sensory transduction at the molecular level.

Publications

Lele, P.P., Hosu, B.G., and Berg H.C. (2013) Dynamics of mechanosensing in the bacterial flagellar motor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, 11839-11844.

Yuan, J., Branch, R, Hosu, B.J., and Berg, H.C. (2012) Adaptation at the output of the chemotaxic signalling pathway. Nature 484, 233-236.

Turner, L., Stern, A.S., and Berg, H.C. (2012) Growth of flagellar filaments of Escherichia coli is independent of filament length. J. Bacteriol. 194, 2437-2442.

Sourjik, V. and Berg, H.C. (2002) Receptor sensitivity in bacterial chemotaxis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99, 123-127.

Skerker, J.M. and Berg, H.C. (2001) Direct observation of extension and retraction of type IV pili. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98, 6901-6904.

Turner, L., Ryu, W.S. and Berg, H.C. (2000) Real-time imaging of fluorescent flagellar filaments. J. Bacteriol. 182, 2793-2801 (2000).

Berg, H.C. (2003) The rotary motor of bacterial flagella. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 72, 19-54.

Berg, H.C. (2000) Motile behavior of bacteria. Physics Today 53 (1), 24-29.

Berg, H.C. Random Walks in Biology. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Revised 1993

Berg, H.C. E coli in Motion. New York: Springer-Verlag. 2003

CV with complete list of publications

updated: 03/24/2015