Microbial Ecology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 207–227 | Cite as

Effects of random motility on growth of bacterial populations

  • Douglas Lauffenburger
  • Rutherford Aris
  • Kenneth H. Keller


A spatially distributed mathematical model is developed to elucidate the effects of chemical diffusion and cell motility as well as cell growth, death, and substrate uptake on steady-state bacterial population growth in a finite, one-dimensional, nonmixed region. The situation considered is growth limited by a diffusing substrate from an adjacent phase not accessible to the bacteria. Chemotactic movement is not considered in this paper; we consider only “randomwalk”-type random motility behavior here. The following important general concepts are suggested by the results of our theoretical analysis: (a) The significance of random motility effects depends on the magnitude of the ratioμ/kL2, whereμ is the bacterial random motility coefficient,k is the growth rate constant, andL is the linear dimension of the confined growth region. (b) In steady-state growth in a confined region, the bacterial population size decreases asμ increases. (c) The effect ofμ on population size can be great; in fact, sometimes relative population sizes of two species can be governed primarily by the relative values ofμ rather than by the relative values ofk.


Population Size Bacterial Population Linear Dimension Random Motility Motility Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas Lauffenburger
    • 1
  • Rutherford Aris
    • 1
  • Kenneth H. Keller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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