Active spaghetti: collective organization in cyanobacteria

Faluweki, M.K., Cammann, J., Mazza, M.G. and Goehring, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-3858-7295, 2023. Active spaghetti: collective organization in cyanobacteria. Physical Review Letters, 131 (15): 158303. ISSN 0031-9007

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Filamentous cyanobacteria can show fascinating examples of nonequilibrium self-organization, which however are not well-understood from a physical perspective. We investigate the motility and collective organization of colonies of these simple multicellular lifeforms. As their area density increases, linear chains of cells gliding on a substrate show a transition from an isotropic distribution to bundles of filaments arranged in a reticulate pattern. Based on our experimental observations of individual behavior and pairwise interactions, we introduce a nonreciprocal model accounting for the filaments' large aspect ratio, fluctuations in curvature, motility, and nematic interactions. This minimal model of active filaments recapitulates the observations, and rationalizes the appearance of a characteristic lengthscale in the system, based on the Péclet number of the cyanobacteria filaments.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Physical Review Letters
Creators: Faluweki, M.K., Cammann, J., Mazza, M.G. and Goehring, L.
Publisher: American Physical Society (APS)
Date: 13 October 2023
Volume: 131
Number: 15
ISSN: 0031-9007
Rights: Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license ( Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI. Open access publication funded by the Max Planck Society.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 17 Oct 2023 09:24
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2023 09:24

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