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Measurement of cell velocity distributions in populations of motile algae.

Vladimirov, V. A., Wu, M. S. C., Pedley, T. J., Denissenko, P. V. and Zakhidova, S. G. (2004) Measurement of cell velocity distributions in populations of motile algae. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 207 (7). pp. 1203-1216. ISSN 1477-9145

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The self-propulsion of unicellular algae in still ambient fluid is studied using a previously reported laser-based tracking method, supplemented by new tracking software. A few hundred swimming cells are observed simultaneously and the average parameters of the cells' motility are calculated. The time-dependent, two-dimensional distribution of swimming velocities is measured and the three-dimensional distribution is recovered by assuming horizontal isotropy. The mean and variance of the cell turning angle are quantified, to estimate the reorientation time and rotational diffusivity of the bottom-heavy cell. The cells' phototactic and photokinetic responses to the laser light are evaluated. The results are generally consistent both with earlier assumptions about the nature of cell swimming and quantitative measurements, appropriately adjusted. The laser-based tracking method, which makes it possible to average over a large number of motile objects, is shown to be a powerful tool for the study of microorganism motility.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Mathematics (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 09:50
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2009 09:50
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.00881
Status: Published
Publisher: The Company of Biologists Ltd 2009
Identification Number: 10.1242/jeb.00881
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7621

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