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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 20225-20238; doi:10.3390/ijms160920225

Visualization of Biosurfactant Film Flow in a Bacillus subtilis Swarm Colony on an Agar Plate

1
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Korea
3
Department of Integrative Biomedical Science and Engineering, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Y. Jun Xu
Received: 24 May 2015 / Revised: 20 July 2015 / Accepted: 18 August 2015 / Published: 26 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [11042 KB, uploaded 26 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

Collective bacterial dynamics plays a crucial role in colony development. Although many research groups have studied the behavior of fluidic swarm colonies, the detailed mechanics of its motion remains elusive. Here, we developed a visualization method using submicron fluorescent beads for investigating the flow field in a thin layer of fluid that covers a Bacillus subtilis swarm colony growing on an agar plate. The beads were initially embedded in the agar plate and subsequently distributed spontaneously at the upper surface of the expanding colony. We conducted long-term live cell imaging of the B. subtilis colony using the fluorescent tracers, and obtained high-resolution velocity maps of microscale vortices in the swarm colony using particle image velocimetry. A distinct periodic fluctuation in the average speed and vorticity of flow in swarm colony was observed at the inner region of the colony, and correlated with the switch between bacterial swarming and growth phases. At the advancing edge of the colony, both the magnitudes of velocity and vorticity of flow in swarm colony were inversely correlated with the spreading speed of the swarm edge. The advanced imaging tool developed in this study would facilitate further understanding of the effect of micro vortices in swarm colony on the collective dynamics of bacteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial swarming; Bacillus subtilis; swarm colony; flow; fluorescent microbeads; particle image velocimetry bacterial swarming; Bacillus subtilis; swarm colony; flow; fluorescent microbeads; particle image velocimetry
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kim, K.; Kim, J.K. Visualization of Biosurfactant Film Flow in a Bacillus subtilis Swarm Colony on an Agar Plate. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 20225-20238.

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