The Mechanism of Fractal-Like Structure Formation by Bacterial Populations

M. A. Tsyganov, I. B. Kresteva, G. V. Aslanidi, K. B. Aslanidi, A. A. Deev, G. R. Ivanitsky

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17 Scopus citations


Three types of population growth and development of chemotaxic motile bacteria Escherichia coli on semi-solid nutrient media are investigated: a) stable development - circular symmetrical waves; b) bursts; c) fractal-like self-organization. Experimental investigation of the burst formation is presented. The microscopic analysis of growing fractal-like structures is carried out, and a mechanism for such structure formation is suggested. It is supposed that fractal-like bacterial structures growth is based on the principle of successively forming multiple micro-bursts. A mathematical model has been suggested to reproduce the experimental results. The structures obtained by numerical modeling of population growth in the parameter space 'substrate concentration - bacterial movement rate' reproduce the corresponding experimental structures in the space 'nutrient concentration in the media - the density of the media'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Physics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial population
  • Dynamics of spatial patterns
  • Escherichia coli
  • Fractal-like growth
  • Mathematical model
  • Structure formation


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