A discrete cell model with adaptive signalling for aggregation of Dictyostelium discoideum

John C. Dallon, Hans G. Othmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Dictyostelium discoideum (Dd) is a widely studied model system from which fundamental insights into cell movement, chemotaxis, aggregation and pattern formation can be gained. In this system aggregation results form the chemotactic response by dispersed anioebae to a travelling wave of the chemoattractant cAMP. We have developed a model in which the cells are treated as discrete points in a continuum field of the chemoattractant, and transduction of the extracellular cAMP signal into the intracellular signal is based on the G protein model developed by Tang and Othmer. The model reproduces a number of experimental observations and gives further insight into the aggregation process. We investigate different rules for cell movement, the factors that influence stream formation, the effect on aggregation of noise in the choice of the direction of movement, and when spiral waves of chemoattractant and cell density are likely to occur. Our results give new insight into the origin of spiral waves and suggest that streaming is due to a finite amplitude instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-417
Number of pages27
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1351
StatePublished - 1997


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