Spontaneous Rotational Inversion in Phycomyces

Type
Article

Authors
Goriely, Alain
Tabor, Michael

KAUST Grant Number
KUK-C1-013-04

Date
2011-03-31

Abstract
The filamentary fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus undergoes a series of remarkable transitions during aerial growth. During what is known as the stagea IV growth phase, the fungus extends while rotating in a counterclockwise manner when viewed from above (stagea IVa) and then, while continuing to grow, spontaneously reverses to a clockwise rotation (stagea IVb). This phase lasts for 24-48Ah and is sometimes followed by yet another reversal (stageAIVc) before the overall growth ends. Here, we propose a continuum mechanical model of this entire process using nonlinear, anisotropic, elasticity and show how helical anisotropy associated with the cell wall structure can induce spontaneous rotation and, under appropriate circumstances, the observed reversal of rotational handedness. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Citation
Goriely A, Tabor M (2011) Spontaneous Rotational Inversion in Phycomyces. Physical Review Letters 106. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.138103.

Acknowledgements
This publication is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DMS-0907773 and by Grant No. KUK-C1-013-04, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (A. G.). A. G. is supported through a Wolfson/Royal Society Merit Award.

Publisher
American Physical Society (APS)

Journal
Physical Review Letters

DOI
10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.138103

PubMed ID
21517424

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