Journal article

Network patterns in exponentially growing two-dimensional biofilms

Cameron Zachreson, Xinhui Yap, Erin S Gloag, Raz Shimoni, Cynthia B Whitchurch, Milos Toth

PHYSICAL REVIEW E | AMER PHYSICAL SOC | Published : 2017

Abstract

Anisotropic collective patterns occur frequently in the morphogenesis of two-dimensional biofilms. These patterns are often attributed to growth regulation mechanisms and differentiation based on gradients of diffusing nutrients and signaling molecules. Here, we employ a model of bacterial growth dynamics to show that even in the absence of growth regulation or differentiation, confinement by an enclosing medium such as agar can itself lead to stable pattern formation over time scales that are employed in experiments. The underlying mechanism relies on path formation through physical deformation of the enclosing environment.

Grants

Awarded by Australian Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

C.Z. would like to acknowledge C. Wolff and M. Arnold for useful discussions. This work was funded by Thermo Fisher Scientific and the Australian Research Council (Grant No. DP140102721).