The Formation Of A Colony Of Bacteria Was Described From The Point Of View Of Higher Mathematics

The Formation Of A Colony Of Bacteria Was Described From The Point Of View Of Higher Mathematics
The Formation Of A Colony Of Bacteria Was Described From The Point Of View Of Higher Mathematics

Video: The Formation Of A Colony Of Bacteria Was Described From The Point Of View Of Higher Mathematics

Video: Microbiology - Bacteria Growth, Reproduction, Classification 2022, November
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American researchers have studied how the bacteria Myxococcus xanthus form fruiting bodies in order to ride out unfavorable conditions. A three-dimensional survey of a colony of bacteria using a microscope showed that they form structures resembling fingerprints, and the formation of a fruiting body can be explained by the appearance of topological defects. The article was published in the journal Nature Physics.

Scientists at Princeton University have investigated how colonies of bacteria Myxococcus xanthus form structures called fruiting bodies in order to cope with unfavorable environmental conditions. It turned out that these rod-shaped bacteria form patterns that resemble fingerprints or liquid crystals, new layers begin to appear at the intersection of cell rows, and thus fruiting bodies appear.

Myxococcus xanthus is capable of forming organized colonies. The cells of such a community move together towards potential victims (bacteria of another species), surround them and digest them. When food is scarce, bacterial colonies form soft structures called fruit bodies. In this form, bacteria wait out unfavorable conditions. Until now, scientists have not understood exactly how these structures are formed.

To answer this question, the authors of the work installed a microscope that tracks the movements of M. Xanthus in three dimensions. Forming a multi-layered fruiting body, the bacteria formed patterns resembling fingerprints, a new layer of cells began to form at the intersection of the two filaments. Such points are analogous to the concept of topological defects in higher mathematics. A topological defect occurs when two adjacent structures are “out of phase” with each other, making it impossible to smoothly transition between them.

“We call intersection points topological defects because they cannot be removed with a smooth transformation. We can't just disrupt cell alignment to get rid of the point where alignment is lost,”explained co-author Richard Alert.

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