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This paper investigates the chemotaxis behavior of the bacterium R. sphaeroides. We review the results of a recent study comparing different possible mathematical models of this bacterium's chemotaxis decision mechanisms. It was found that only one of the aforesaid models could explain the experimental chemotactic response data. From a control theoretic perspective, we show that, compared to the other models posed, this model exhibits better and more robust chemotactic performance. This decision mechanism parallels a feedback architecture that has been used extensively to improve performance in engineered systems. We suggest that this mechanism may play a role in maintaining the chemotactic performance of this and potentially other bacteria.
Date of Conference: 12-15 Dec. 2011