Rotating Bacteria Colonies

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  • By Colin John Ingham


Paenibacillus vortex is a Gram-positive bacteria that self-organises and moves (swarms) over surfaces including an agar plate. The bacteria collectively transport other bacteria as well as small objects such as micro-beads. This movie was made with a low cost USB microscope, viewing through the agar and showing bacteria dispersing from a 1 cm diameter spot over a period of 8 hours. You are looking at the movement of black micro-beads trapped within the groups of bacteria. The rotating colonies are driven by curved cells aligning with a molecular motor driving flagella— these "propellors" generate the required force.

Read more about the research, here.

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