The environmental topology of complex structures is used by Escherichia coli to create traveling waves of high cell density, a prelude to quorum sensing. When cells are grown to a moderate density within a confining microenvironment, these traveling waves of cell density allow the cells to find and collapse into confining topologies, which are unstable to population fluctuations above a critical threshold. This was first observed in mazes designed to mimic complex environments, then more clearly in a simpler geometry consisting of a large open area surrounding a square (250 × 250 μm) with a narrow opening of 10-30 μm. Our results thus show that under nutrient-deprived conditions bacteria search out each other in a collective manner and that the bacteria can dynamically confine themselves to highly enclosed spaces.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 2|
|State||Published - Nov 25 2003|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes