Chaotic model for lévy walks in swarming bacteria

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Ariel, G., Be’er, A. and Reynolds, A. M. 2017. Chaotic model for lévy walks in swarming bacteria. Physical Review Letters. 118 (22), p. 228102.

AuthorsAriel, G., Be’er, A. and Reynolds, A. M.

We describe a new mechanism for Lévy walks, explaining the recently observed superdiffusion of swarming bacteria. The model hinges on several key physical properties of bacteria, such as an elongated cell shape, self-propulsion, and a collectively generated regular vortexlike flow. In particular, chaos and Lévy walking are a consequence of group dynamics. The model explains how cells can fine-tune the geometric properties of their trajectories. Experiments confirm the spectrum of these patterns in fluorescently labeled swarming Bacillus subtilis.

Keywordsbiological fluid dynamics; cell aggregation; locomotion; swarming
Year of Publication2017
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Journal citation118 (22), p. 228102
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
PubMed ID28621992
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDelivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
Space use by bees - radar tracking of spatial movements for key pollinators
Movement and spatial ecology in agricultural landscapes
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online02 Jun 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Jan 2017
PublisherAmerican Physical Society (APS)
Grant IDBBS/E/C/00005195
Copyright licenseCC BY

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