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Research into understanding bacterial chemotactic systems has become a paradigm for Systems Biology. Experimental and theoretical researchers have worked hand-in-hand for over 40 years to understand the intricate behavior driving bacterial species, in particular how such small creatures, usually not more than 5 µm in length, detect and respond to small changes in their extracellular environment. In this review we highlight the importance that theoretical modeling has played in providing new insight and understanding into bacterial chemotaxis. We begin with an overview of the bacterial chemotaxis sensory response, before reviewing the role of theoretical modeling in understanding elements of the system on the single cell scale and features underpinning multiscale extensions to population models.

Original publication




Journal article


Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med

Publication Date





247 - 259


Bacteria, Bacterial Proteins, Chemotaxis, Escherichia coli, Flagella, Models, Theoretical, Signal Transduction