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Chemotaxis on the Move – Active Learning Teaching Tool

    Author: Ann H. Williams1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Biology Department, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL 33606
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 20 December 2010
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Biology Department, University of Tampa, Box 3F, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606. Phone: (813) 257-3994. Fax: (813) 258-7496. E-mail: ahwilliams@ut.edu.
    • Copyright © 2010 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2010 vol. 11 no. 2 177-178. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.216
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    Abstract:

    In Microbiology courses, concepts such as chemotaxis can be difficult to visualize for students. Described here is a short visual playacting activity where students simulate E.coli moving towards an attractant source using a biased random walk. This short interactive activity is performed in the lecture course of General Microbiology that contains mostly Biology major juniors or seniors prior to the lecture on the subject of chemotaxis and flagellar movements. It is utilized to help students (class of 30–40) understand and visualize the process of chemotaxis and the concepts of random walk, biased random walk, runs, tumbles and directed movement of flagella in response to attractants and repellents.

Key Concept Ranking

Cell Movements
0.5527686
Protein Phosphorylation
0.49235013
Chemotaxis
0.45815697
0.5527686

References & Citations

1. Adler J 1966 Chemotaxis in bacteria Science 153 708 716 10.1126/science.153.3737.708 4957395 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.153.3737.708
2. Berg HC, Brown DA 1972 Chemotaxis in Escherichia coli analysed by three-dimensional tracking Nature 239 500 504 10.1038/239500a0 4563019 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/239500a0
3. Macnab RM 1977 Bacterial flagella rotating in bundles: a study in helical geometry PNAS 74 221 225 10.1073/pnas.74.1.221 264676 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.74.1.221
4. Stewart RC, Dahlquist FW 1987 Molecular components of bacterial chemotaxis Chem Rev 87 997 1025 10.1021/cr00081a007 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/cr00081a007
5. Stock JB, Surette MG 1996 Chemotaxis 1103 1129 Ingraham JL, Neidhardt FC Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium American Society for Microbiology Washington, DC
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.216
2010-12-20
2017-09-23

Abstract:

In Microbiology courses, concepts such as chemotaxis can be difficult to visualize for students. Described here is a short visual playacting activity where students simulate E.coli moving towards an attractant source using a biased random walk. This short interactive activity is performed in the lecture course of General Microbiology that contains mostly Biology major juniors or seniors prior to the lecture on the subject of chemotaxis and flagellar movements. It is utilized to help students (class of 30–40) understand and visualize the process of chemotaxis and the concepts of random walk, biased random walk, runs, tumbles and directed movement of flagella in response to attractants and repellents.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Demonstration of random walk.

Each star is a student and each will perform a random walk. The random walk for only three students is shown (dark black stars). Each student performed four runs (arrows) and four tumbles (circles) with the black circle tumble being the end location of the student. Each tumble can result in movement in a new direction and all runs are five steps, regardless of direction the student is facing. For all three students, the end tumble (black circle) is still not past the three-quarter line towards the apple pie.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2010 vol. 11 no. 2 177-178. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.216
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Demonstration of biased random walk.

Each star is a student performing a biased random walk towards the apple pie. The biased random walk is shown for only three students (dark black stars). Each student performed four runs (arrows) and four tumbles, with the black circle tumble being the end location of the student. The student will always tumble after a run but if they are facing apple pie, they run for ten steps; if facing away from apple pie, run for two steps; or if facing in between, run for five steps. More of the students have migrated towards the apple pie in the biased random walk than in the random walk. This is evident by two of the three students (black circle end tumbles) reaching past the three-quarter line towards the apple pie.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2010 vol. 11 no. 2 177-178. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v11i2.216
Download as Powerpoint

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