Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 6, 2009
Previous Article Next Article

Bacterial swarming: a model system for studying dynamic self-assembly

Author affiliations

Abstract

Bacterial swarming is an example of dynamic self-assembly in microbiology in which the collective interaction of a population of bacterial cells leads to emergent behavior. Swarming occurs when cells interact with surfaces, reprogram their physiology and behavior, and adapt to changes in their environment by coordinating their growth and motility with other cells in the colony. This Review summarizes the salient biological and biophysical features of this system and describes our current understanding of swarming motility. We have organized this Review into four sections: (1) The biophysics and mechanisms of bacterial motility in fluids and its relevance to swarming. (2) The role of cell/molecule, cell/surface, and cell/cell interactions during swarming. (3) The changes in physiology and behavior that accompany swarming motility. (4) A concluding discussion of several interesting, unanswered questions that is particularly relevant to soft matter scientists.

Graphical abstract: Bacterial swarming: a model system for studying dynamic self-assembly

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jul 2008, accepted on 28 Nov 2008 and first published on 03 Feb 2009


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/B812146J
Citation: Soft Matter, 2009,5, 1174-1187
  •   Request permissions

    Bacterial swarming: a model system for studying dynamic self-assembly

    M. F. Copeland and D. B. Weibel, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 1174
    DOI: 10.1039/B812146J

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements