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Fractal patterns in a Bacillus subtilis biofilm, LM

  • Fernán Federici
  • Digital Images
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Credit: Fractal patterns in a Bacillus subtilis biofilm, LM. Fernán Federici. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Confocal micrograph of fractal patterns self-organised in a Bacillus subtilis biofilm. Bacillus subtilis is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium commonly found in soil. Populations of different lineages of B. subtilis each express a different fluorescent protein: sfGFP (green), mKate2 (red) or mTurquoise2 (blue). Fractal features arise from local mechanical instabilities produced during uniaxial growth and division of rod-shaped bacteria. This image was used to study self-organisation and emergence of morphological features in cell populations. Understanding how bacterial biofilms form is a key step in the fight against bacterial infections. Image created in collaboration with T. Rudge, P. Steiner, A. Kan and J. Haseloff. Width of image is 0.75 mm.


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