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Overview of mathematical approaches used to model bacterial chemotaxis I: the single cell

Tindall, M. J., Porter, S. L., Maini, P. K., Gaglia, G. and Armitage, J. P. (2008) Overview of mathematical approaches used to model bacterial chemotaxis I: the single cell. Bullitin of Mathmatical Biology, 70 (6). pp. 1525-69. ISSN 1522-9602

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11538-008-9321-6


Mathematical modeling of bacterial chemotaxis systems has been influential and insightful in helping to understand experimental observations. We provide here a comprehensive overview of the range of mathematical approaches used for modeling, within a single bacterium, chemotactic processes caused by changes to external gradients in its environment. Specific areas of the bacterial system which have been studied and modeled are discussed in detail, including the modeling of adaptation in response to attractant gradients, the intracellular phosphorylation cascade, membrane receptor clustering, and spatial modeling of intracellular protein signal transduction. The importance of producing robust models that address adaptation, gain, and sensitivity are also discussed. This review highlights that while mathematical modeling has aided in understanding bacterial chemotaxis on the individual cell scale and guiding experimental design, no single model succeeds in robustly describing all of the basic elements of the cell. We conclude by discussing the importance of this and the future of modeling in this area.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:9903
Uncontrolled Keywords:Algorithms, *Bacterial Physiological Phenomena, Chemotaxis/*physiology, Escherichia coli/cytology/physiology, *Models, Biological, Signal Transduction/physiology

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