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Journal Article

A steering mechanism for phototaxis in Chlamydomonas


Golestanian,  Ramin
Department of Living Matter Physics, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Bennett, R. R., & Golestanian, R. (2015). A steering mechanism for phototaxis in Chlamydomonas. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12(104): 20141164. doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.1164.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-7632-2
Chlamydomonas shows both positive and negative phototaxis. It has a single eyespot near its equator, and as the cell rotates during the forward motion, the light signal received by the eyespot varies. We use a simple mechanical model of Chlamydomonas that couples the flagellar beat pattern to the light intensity at the eyespot to demonstrate a mechanism for phototactic steering that is consistent with observations. The direction of phototaxis is controlled by a parameter in our model, and the steering mechanism is robust to noise. Our model shows switching between directed phototaxis when the light is on and run-and-tumble behaviour in the dark. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.