Lecture notes in Microbiology

Difference between Flagella and Fimbriae of Bacteria- A Comparison Table


Difference between Fimbriae and Flagella

Fimbriae vs Flagella
(Similarities and Differences between Fimbriae and Flagella of Bacteria)

Both Fimbria (plural Fimbriae) and Flagellum (plural flagella) are the filamentous proteinaceous structures found on the surface of some bacterial cells. 

Fimbriae definition: Fimbriae are bristle like short fibres occurs on the surface of some Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. Fimbriae enable the bacterial cell to stick to the surface of host cells. They also help in the formation of pellicles or biofilms. (Pellicle: thin sheet of cells on the surface of a liquid).

Flagella definition: Bacterial flagella are long whip like filamentous structures present in some bacteria. The most important function of flagella is to assist in locomotion. Flagella can also act as a sensory organ to detect temperature and the presence of certain chemicals in the external environment of the cell. Even though the flagella are present in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, both are entirely different in their structure and formation and mechanism of propulsion.

The present post describes the Similarities and Differences between Fimbriae and Flagella of bacteria with a Comparison Table.

Similarities between Fimbriae and Flagella

Ø  Both fimbriae and flagella are filamentous structures.

Ø  Both are present in Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria.

Ø  Both are cell surface appendages, present on the cell surface of bacteria.

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