Journal article

Bacteria push the limits of chemotactic precision to navigate dynamic chemical gradients

Douglas R Brumley, Francesco Carrara, Andrew M Hein, Yutaka Yawata, Simon A Levin, Roman Stocker

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2019

Abstract

Ephemeral aggregations of bacteria are ubiquitous in the environment, where they serve as hotbeds of metabolic activity, nutrient cycling, and horizontal gene transfer. In many cases, these regions of high bacterial concentration are thought to form when motile cells use chemotaxis to navigate to chemical hotspots. However, what governs the dynamics of bacterial aggregations is unclear. Here, we use an experimental platform to create realistic submillimeter-scale nutrient pulses with controlled nutrient concentrations. By combining experiments, mathematical theory, and agent-based simulations, we show that individual Vibrio ordalii bacteria begin chemotaxis toward hotspots of dissolved organ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council


Awarded by Army Research Office


Awarded by Simons Foundation


Awarded by Gordon and Betty Moore Marine Microbial Initiative Investigator Award


Awarded by Simons Foundation as part of the Principles of Microbial Ecosystems Collaborative (PriME)


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank V. Sourjik, N. Wingreen, T. Emonet, F. Menolascina, K. Son, V. Fernandez, and J. Keegstra for useful discussions. This work was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award DE180100911 (to D.R.B.); The University of Melbourne Computational Biology Research Initiative and high-performance computing system (D.R.B.); a Swiss National Science Foundation Early Mobility Postdoctoral Fellowship (F.C.); a James S. McDonnell Foundation Fellowship (A.M.H.); Army Research Office Grants W911NG-11-1-0385 and W911NF-14-1-0431 (to S.A.L.); Simons Foundation Grant 395890 (to S.A.L.); Gordon and Betty Moore Marine Microbial Initiative Investigator Award GBMF3783 (to R.S.); and Simons Foundation Grant 542395 (to R.S.) as part of the Principles of Microbial Ecosystems Collaborative (PriME).