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Cell. 2015 May 21;161(5):988-997. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.05.005.

The mechanical world of bacteria.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
2
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA; Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, 35043 Marburg, Germany.
3
Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
4
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
5
Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, 35043 Marburg, Germany.
6
Lewis Sigler Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
7
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, USA.
8
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. Electronic address: zgitai@princeton.edu.
9
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. Electronic address: hastone@princeton.edu.

Abstract

In the wild, bacteria are predominantly associated with surfaces as opposed to existing as free-swimming, isolated organisms. They are thus subject to surface-specific mechanics, including hydrodynamic forces, adhesive forces, the rheology of their surroundings, and transport rules that define their encounters with nutrients and signaling molecules. Here, we highlight the effects of mechanics on bacterial behaviors on surfaces at multiple length scales, from single bacteria to the development of multicellular bacterial communities such as biofilms.

PMID:
26000479
PMCID:
PMC4451180
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2015.05.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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