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Lega J, Passot T. Mar 2003. Hydrodynamics of bacterial colonies: a model. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys, 67:031906
We propose a hydrodynamic model for the evolution of bacterial colonies growing on soft agar plates. This model consists of reaction-diffusion equations for the concentrations of nutrients, water, and bacteria, coupled to a single hydrodynamic equation for the velocity field of the bacteria-water mixture. It captures the dynamics inside the colony as well as on its boundary and allows us to identify a mechanism for collective motion towards fresh nutrients, which, in its modeling aspects, is similar to classical chemotaxis. As shown in numerical simulations, our model reproduces both usual colony shapes and typical hydrodynamic motions, such as the whirls and jets recently observed in wet colonies of Bacillus subtilis. The approach presented here could be extended to different experimental situations and provides a general framework for the use of advection-reaction-diffusion equations in modeling bacterial colonies.Back