Bacterial cooperative organization under antibiotic stress

Eshel Ben-Jacob, Inon Cohen, Ido Golding, David L. Gutnick, Marianna Tcherpakov, Dirk Helbing, Ilan G. Ron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bacteria have developed sophisticated modes of cooperative behavior to cope with unfavorable environmental conditions. Here we report the effect of antibiotic stress on the colonial development of Paenibacillus dendritiformis and P. vortex. We focus on the effect of co-trimoxazole on the colonial organization of P. dendritiformis. We find that the exposure to non-lethal concentrations of antibiotic leads to dramatic changes in the colonial growth patterns. Branching, tip-splitting patterns are affected by reduction in the colonial fractal dimension from D f = 2.0 to 1.7, appearance of pronounced weak chirality and pronounced radial orientation of the growth. We combine the experimental observations with numerical studies of both discrete and continuous generic models to reveal the causes for the modifications in the patterns. We conclude that the bacteria adjust their chemotactic signaling together with variations in the bacteria length and increase in the metabolic load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-282
Number of pages36
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume282
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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