Chemotactic-based adaptive self-organization during colonial development

Inon Cohen, Andras Czirók, Eshel Ben-Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial colonies have developed sophisticated modes of cooperative behavior which enable them to respond to adverse growth conditions. It has been shown that such behavior can be manifested in the development of complex colonial patterns. Certain bacterial species exhibit formation of branching patterns during colony development. Here we present a generic model to describe such patterning of swimming (tumbling) bacteria on agar surfaces. The model incorporates: (1) food diffusion, (2) reproduction and sporulation of the cells, (3) movement of the bacterial cells within a self-produced wetting fluid and (4) chemotactic signaling. As a plausible explanation for transitions between different branching morphologies, we propose an interplay between chemotaxis towards food, self-produced short range chemoattractant and long range chemorepellent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-698
Number of pages21
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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