The Geometry of Colonization
Bacteria are among the most common and resilient forms of life on Earth, and their extraordinary surface-colonizing ability represents a central topic in microbiology, biophysics, and materials science. This process typically starts with few cells undergoing a phenotypical switch from the plantonik (i.e. swimming) to the sessile (i.e. surface-associated) lifestyle and continue via the formation of an exponentially growing monolayer of tightly packed and partially ordered cells. Colonies originating from a single bacterium, initially develops in the form of a flat and circularly symmetric monolayer and, after reaching a critical population, invade the three-dimensional space forming stacks of concentric disk-shaped layers. In this talk I will discuss some recent theoretical progress toward understanding the geometry of bacterial monolayers as well as the statistical mechanics underpinning the mono-to-multilayer transition.
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..