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Title: Self-organized canals enable long-range directed material transport in bacterial communities
Authors: Li, Ye
Liu, Shiqi
Zhang, Yingdan
Seng, Zi Jing
Xu, Haoran
Yang, Liang
Wu, Yilin
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Li, Y., Liu, S., Zhang, Y., Seng, Z. J., Xu, H., Yang, L. & Wu, Y. (2022). Self-organized canals enable long-range directed material transport in bacterial communities. ELife, 11, e79780-.
Journal: eLife 
Abstract: Long-range material transport is essential to maintain the physiological functions of multicellular organisms such as animals and plants. By contrast, material transport in bacteria is often short-ranged and limited by diffusion. Here, we report a unique form of actively regulated long-range directed material transport in structured bacterial communities. Using Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonies as a model system, we discover that a large-scale and temporally evolving open-channel system spontaneously develops in the colony via shear-induced banding. Fluid flows in the open channels support high-speed (up to 450 µm/s) transport of cells and outer membrane vesicles over centimeters, and help to eradicate colonies of a competing species Staphylococcus aureus. The open channels are reminiscent of human-made canals for cargo transport, and the channel flows are driven by interfacial tension mediated by cell-secreted biosurfactants. The spatial-temporal dynamics of fluid flows in the open channels are qualitatively described by flow profile measurement and mathematical modeling. Our findings demonstrate that mechanochemical coupling between interfacial force and biosurfactant kinetics can coordinate large-scale material transport in primitive life forms, suggesting a new principle to engineer self-organized microbial communities.
ISSN: 2050-084X
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.79780
Research Centres: Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences and Engineering 
Rights: © Li, Liu et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SCELSE Journal Articles

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