Held Jointly with the
2004 SIAM Annual Meeting

Oregon Convention Center
Portland, Oregon

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Waves Like No Other: Propulsion and Patterns in the Life of Myxobacteria

George Oster , University of California, Berkeley

Myxobacteria are rod-shaped cells that propel themselves by a mechanism called 'gliding'. In a certain stage of their life cycle they generate density waves that spiral and interpenetrate. I will present models that address both their propulsive mechanisms and cooperative behavior. The models illustrate how the patterns can be used as a probe of intercellular signal transduction mechanisms, and provide an alternate system for studying multicellular pattern formation based on direct cell contact rather than diffusible morphogens.


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