A mathematical model for adaptive transport network in path finding by true slime mold

Atsushi Tero, Ryo Kobayashi, Toshiyuki Nakagaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

243 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We describe here a mathematical model of the adaptive dynamics of a transport network of the true slime mold Physarum polycephalum, an amoeboid organism that exhibits path-finding behavior in a maze. This organism possesses a network of tubular elements, by means of which nutrients and signals circulate through the plasmodium. When the organism is put in a maze, the network changes its shape to connect two exits by the shortest path. This process of path-finding is attributed to an underlying physiological mechanism: a tube thickens as the flux through it increases. The experimental evidence for this is, however, only qualitative. We constructed a mathematical model of the general form of the tube dynamics. Our model contains a key parameter corresponding to the extent of the feedback regulation between the thickness of a tube and the flux through it. We demonstrate the dependence of the behavior of the model on this parameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-564
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume244
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 21 2007

Fingerprint

Myxomycetes
Myxogastrea
Fungi
Tube
Theoretical Models
mathematical models
Physarum polycephalum
Mathematical Model
Mathematical models
Fluxes
Path
Plasmodium
organisms
Nutrients
Adaptive Dynamics
Feedback
Food
Shortest path
nutrients
Model

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Medicine(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

Cite this

A mathematical model for adaptive transport network in path finding by true slime mold. / Tero, Atsushi; Kobayashi, Ryo; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 244, No. 4, 21.02.2007, p. 553-564.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tero, Atsushi ; Kobayashi, Ryo ; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki. / A mathematical model for adaptive transport network in path finding by true slime mold. In: Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2007 ; Vol. 244, No. 4. pp. 553-564.
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