swarming

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The Olympics: Microbes vs. Humans

As the world watches the Olympics, the journal Nature Microbiology hosted the Microbial Olympics.

Here are some highlights from this year's Microbial Olympics events:

(1) Synchronized swarming: Swarming is a coordinated movement of bacterial populations to spread out over solid or semi-solid surfaces. Swarming speeds are comparable to swimming speeds in the same organism. In the synchronized swarming competition, bacterial populations are judged on how quickly they swarm on a semi-solid agar surface. Bacterial populations start in the middle of the surface and move outwards to the finish line. The medalists for this event are the well known swarmers, Vibrio parahaemolyticus (gold), Proteus mirabilis (silver) and Bacillus subtilis (bronze). (more…)