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Interface growth and pattern formation in bacterial colonies

M. Matsushita, J. Wakita, H. Itoh, Ismael Rafols (), T. Matsuyama, H. Sakaguchi and M. Mimura

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 1998, vol. 249, issue 1, 517-524

Abstract: Bacterial species Bacillus subtilis is known to exhibit various colony patterns, depending on the substrate softness and nutrient concentration. We have examined the self-affinity and roughness exponent α for growing interfaces of colonies which belong to regions B (Eden-like) and D (disk-like) in the morphological phase diagram of this species. We have obtained α≃0.78 and 0.50 in the regions B and D, respectively, and found that the difference of α values can be attributed to that of microscopic growth mechanisms of colony interfaces. We have also proposed a unified model which produces characteristic colony patterns observed in our experiments. It is a diffusion–reaction-type model for the population density of bacterial cells and the concentration of nutrient. The essential assumption is that there exist two types of bacterial cells; active and inactive. Our model is found to be able to globally reproduce all the colony patterns in the phase diagram.

Keywords: Pattern formation; Bacterial colony; Interface growth; Self-affinity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998
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DOI: 10.1016/S0378-4371(97)00511-6

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Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:249:y:1998:i:1:p:517-524