Chemotactic swimmers

Effects of motility

Marine environments are very heterogeneous and turbulent on a small scale. In these highly dynamic conditions the microbial activity is restricted to some few places of high nutrient concentrations. Therefore, efficient motility and food detection is crucial for survival of marine bacteria in such constantly changing environment. A vast majority of marine bacteria has a single flagellum, and exhibit particular motion patterns: run-reverse and run-reverse-flick. The main objective of this work was to study how the interplay of chemotaxis and different swimming patterns of bacteria influence the colonization of a plume of nutrients advected by a flow. To this extent we developed an {\bf individual-based model}, which describes how bacteria can detect and follow a moving plume of nutrients in a {\bf synthetic turbulent field}. We analysed the advantages offered by the motility patterns of marine bacteria.


  • Motility pattern and shape of bacteria improve their ability to track moving nutrient source in a flow filed. Ksenia Guseva and Ulrike Feudel (In preparation)