Spatio-temporal patterns generated by Salmonella typhimurium

Biophys J. 1995 May;68(5):2181-9. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(95)80400-5.


We present experimental results on the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium which show that cells of chemotactic strains aggregate in response to gradients of amino acids, attractants that they themselves excrete. Depending on the conditions under which cells are cultured, they form periodic arrays of continuous or perforated rings, which arise sequentially within a spreading bacterial lawn. Based on these experiments, we develop a biologically realistic cell-chemotaxis model to describe the self-organization of bacteria. Numerical and analytical investigations of the model mechanism show how the two types of observed geometric patterns can be generated by the interaction of the cells with chemoattractant they produce.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / pharmacology
  • Chemotactic Factors / pharmacology
  • Chemotaxis* / drug effects
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / growth & development
  • Salmonella typhimurium / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Amino Acids
  • Chemotactic Factors