The Physics of Filamentous Fungi
Fungi is one of the three kingdoms of 'higher organisms', the others being plants and animals. Perhaps surprisingly, many aspects of fungal biology are more closely related to corresponding aspects in animals than plants. So fungi (especially perhaps yeasts) have long served as 'model' organisms in the life sciences. After introducing fungi, I will show, using two examples, that they also present exciting opportunities to physicists. First, I will talk about the problem of movement and force generation, and show a few preliminary results of the kind of experiments made possible by laser tweezers. Secondly, and in more detail, I will present recent theoretical explorations of the growth of fungal filaments using a class of models that have been used before in this group (by Martin Evans and his collaborators) in the modelling of road traffic and bird flocking.
This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..