"Decision"-Making in Bacteria: Chemotactic Response of Escherichia coli to Conflicting Stimuli

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Science  21 Jun 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4143, pp. 1292-1294
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4143.1292


Motile bacteria presented simultaneously with both attractant and repellent respond to whichever one is present in the more effective concentration. Apparently bacteria have a processing mechanism that compares opposing signals from the chemoreceptors for positive and negative taxis, sums these signals up, and then communicates the sum to the flagella.

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