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Project C.4: Chemical regulation of aggregation and pattern formation of gliding bacteria
The main aim is to develop
realistic models for aggregation and pattern formation in myxobacteria
at the microscopic (agent-based models with Langevin dynamics) and
macroscopic level (continuum equations of reaction-diffusion-advection
type). The models shall contain basic physical properties
(self-propulsion, volume exclusion and nematic alignment of bacteria),
the reversal rate of individual cells as well as the change in the
reversal rate caused by cell-to-cell interactions and possible
adaptions to adverse conditions. First, an agent-based model shall be
build that combines the properties of earlier agent-based Vicsek-type
models with regard to self-propulsion and nematic alignment and the
reversal dynamics that depends on an internal clock (biochemical
oscillator) as well as collision and biochemical signaling between
cells. The model parameters include cell density, rotational noise and
the reversal frequency of cells.
By changing the parameters the following experimentally observed but not yet understood phenomena shall be qualitatively modeled: (i) Network structures in reversing bacteria at low densities, (ii) street formation (polar bands) of bacteria, (iii) formation of three-dimensional mounds from collision of two-dimensional streets, (iv) transition from rippling patterns to aggregation upon decrease of reversal frequency, and (v) patterns in mixture of wild-type reversing cells and non-reversing mutants. Moreover, a corresponding continuum model of reaction-diffusion-advection type shall be developed in parallel and analyzed with regard to instabilities and bifurcations as well as to nonlinear waves and pattern solutions. The prediction of this model shall be compared to the result of the simulations of the agent-based model.
Project leaders: Prof. Dr. M. Bär , Prof. Dr. H. Engel