Periodic growth of bacterial colonies

Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Takemasa Ikeda, Hirotoshi Shimada, Fumiko Hiramatsu, Naoki Kobayashi, Jun Ichi Wakita, Hiroto Itoh, Sayuri Kurosu, Michio Nakatsuchi, Tohey Matsuyama, Mitsugu Matsushita*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The formation of concentric ring colonies by bacterial species Bacillus subtilis and Proteus mirabilis has been investigated experimentally, focusing our attention on the dependence of local cell density upon the bacterial motility. It has been confirmed that these concentric ring colonies reflect the periodic change of the bacterial motility between motile cell state and immotile cell state. We conclude that this periodic change is macroscopically determined neither by biological factors (i.e., biological clock) nor by chemical factors (chemotaxis as inhibitor). And our experimental results strongly suggest that the essential factor for the change of the bacterial motility during concentric ring formation is the local cell density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-153
Number of pages18
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun 1


  • B. subtilis
  • Bacterial colony
  • Bacterial motility
  • Cell density
  • Concentric ring pattern
  • P. mirabilis
  • Replica-printing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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