Universality in bacterial colonies

Juan A. Bonachela, Carey D. Nadell, João B. Xavier, Simon A. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The emergent spatial patterns generated by growing bacterial colonies have been the focus of intense study in physics during the last twenty years. Both experimental and theoretical investigations have made possible a clear qualitative picture of the different structures that such colonies can exhibit, depending on the medium on which they are growing. However, there are relatively few quantitative descriptions of these patterns. In this paper, we use a mechanistically detailed simulation framework to measure the scaling exponents associated with the advancing fronts of bacterial colonies on hard agar substrata, aiming to discern the universality class to which the system belongs. We show that the universal behavior exhibited by the colonies can be much richer than previously reported, and we propose the possibility of up to four different sub-phases within the medium-to-high nutrient concentration regime. We hypothesize that the quenched disorder that characterizes one of these sub-phases is an emergent property of the growth and division of bacteria competing for limited space and nutrients.

LanguageEnglish
Pages303-315
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Volume144
Issue number2
Early online date25 Mar 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011

Fingerprint

Nutrients
Universality
Quenched Disorder
Simulation Framework
Spatial Pattern
Scaling Exponent
nutrients
Bacteria
Division
Physics
bacteria
division
exponents
disorders
scaling
physics
simulation
Class

Keywords

  • computational biology
  • interfaces in random media
  • self-affine roughness

Cite this

Bonachela, J. A., Nadell, C. D., Xavier, J. B., & Levin, S. A. (2011). Universality in bacterial colonies. Journal of Statistical Physics, 144(2), 303-315. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10955-011-0179-x
Bonachela, Juan A. ; Nadell, Carey D. ; Xavier, João B. ; Levin, Simon A. / Universality in bacterial colonies. In: Journal of Statistical Physics. 2011 ; Vol. 144, No. 2. pp. 303-315.
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Bonachela, JA, Nadell, CD, Xavier, JB & Levin, SA 2011, 'Universality in bacterial colonies' Journal of Statistical Physics, vol. 144, no. 2, pp. 303-315. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10955-011-0179-x

Universality in bacterial colonies. / Bonachela, Juan A.; Nadell, Carey D.; Xavier, João B.; Levin, Simon A.

In: Journal of Statistical Physics, Vol. 144, No. 2, 01.07.2011, p. 303-315.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Bonachela JA, Nadell CD, Xavier JB, Levin SA. Universality in bacterial colonies. Journal of Statistical Physics. 2011 Jul 1;144(2):303-315. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10955-011-0179-x