Aggregation patterns in stressed bacteria

Lev Tsimring, Herbert Levine, Igor Aranson, Eshel Ben-Jacob, Inon Cohen, Ofer Shochet, William N. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


We study the formation of spot patterns seen in bacterial colonies when the bacteria are subjected to oxidative stress due to hazardous by-products of respiration. The cell density is coupled to a chemoattractant concentration as well as to nutrient and waste fields. The model combines the propagation of a front of motile bacterial radially outward from an initial site, a Turing instability of the uniformly dense state, and a reduction of motility for cells sufficiently far behind the front. The wide variety of patterns seen in the experiments is reproduced by the model by varying the details of the initiation of the chemoattractant emission as well as the transition to a nonmotile phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1859-1862
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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