Europhys. Lett.
Volume 48, Number 5, December 1999
Page(s) 587 - 593
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 September 2002
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i1999-00524-7

Europhys. Lett, 48 (5), pp. 587-593 (1999)

Studies of sector formation in expanding bacterial colonies

I. Golding, I. Cohen and E. Ben-Jacob

Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69 978, Israel

(received 26 May 1999; accepted in final form 1 October 1999)

PACS. 87.10+e - Biological and medical physics: General theory and mathematical aspects.


We study sector formation in expanding bacterial colonies grown on a substrate with low level of nutrient. Bursts of sectors are observed both during compact growth on soft agar and during branching growth on semi-solid agar. For theoretical studies of these bursts we employ two mathematical models we have used successfully in the past to study patterning of bacterial colonies: a discrete model and a continuous reaction-diffusion model. Using these models we investigate the amount of segregation achieved by a neutral mutation, as well as by mutations having some advantage over the wild type. We also study the effect of chemotaxis signaling on the sector formation.


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