InterJournal Complex Systems, 347
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [347]
Submission Date: 422
Revised On: 430
Spatial periodicity in mycelial fungi growth with respect to their life strategies
Author(s): Elena Bystrova ,Anton Bulianitsa ,Ludmila Panina ,Evgenia Bogomolova ,Vladimir Kurochkin

Subject(s): CX.0, CX.11, CX.13, CX.31, CX.33

Category: Article


A phenomenon of stationary pattern formation in colonies of imperfect mycelial fungi (Hyphomycetes) was studied. Conditions required for generation of patterns and general features of spatial structures were investigated. Cultivated fungi differed in growth rate and their ability to produce inhibitors (antibiotics, organic acids). A mathematical model was proposed for description of this macroscopic self-organizing system. The model includes four partial differential equations and contains nondimensional parameters, which define the following basic quantities: concentrations of substrate, metabolites (inhibitors of growth), mycelium and spores; radial and specific rates of mycelial growth; rate of substrate consumption and rate of metabolites production; diffusion factors of metabolites and substrate; initial concentrations of mycelium and substrate; time of mycelial response delay to metabolites and time of sporulation delay; threshold of metabolites concentration. The model is able to describe properly the formation in fungal colonies such spatial structures as "zones" (concentric rings of mycelium) and "continuous surface". The solution of equations' system is accomplished by standard finitely-differential methods of direct and reverse drive. By means of proposed model the computational experiments showed that the ability of fungi to produce inhibitors was an indispensable condition for zone formation. We detected that the growth of fungi colonies in the form of "continuous surface" was caused by limitations laid on the increase of mycelial saturation concentration or substrate exhaustion. Such scheme is realized experimentally in colonies grown on rich nutrient media or on poor agar. The limitation laid on the reaching of critical level by metabolites concentration is essential for zone formation, the number of concentric rings and their width being determined by the whole complex of above-mentioned parameters. The model demonstrates that the development of fungi with different life strategies, R and S (Grime, 1979), at the same substrate occurs differently. The formation of spatial patterns in fungi colonies provides a striking example of biological self-organization and is of great importance for the problem of biodeterioration of different materials.

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