The formation of concentric ring colonies by bacterial species Bacillus subtilis and Proteus mirabilis has been investigated experimentally, focusing our attention on the dependence of local cell density upon the bacterial motility. It has been confirmed that these concentric ring colonies reflect the periodic change of the bacterial motility between motile cell state and immotile cell state. We conclude that this periodic change is macroscopically determined neither by biological factors (i.e., biological clock) nor by chemical factors (chemotaxis as inhibitor). And our experimental results strongly suggest that the essential factor for the change of the bacterial motility during concentric ring formation is the local cell density.
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