Locomotion of C. elegans: A piecewise-harmonic curvature representation of nematode behavior

Venkat Padmanabhan, Zeina S. Khan, Deepak E. Solomon, Andrew Armstrong, Kendra P. Rumbaugh, Siva A. Vanapalli, Jerzy Blawzdziewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living soil nematode, displays a rich variety of body shapes and trajectories during its undulatory locomotion in complex environments. Here we show that the individual body postures and entire trails of C. elegans have a simple analytical description in curvature representation. Our model is based on the assumption that the curvature wave is generated in the head segment of the worm body and propagates backwards. We have found that a simple harmonic function for the curvature can capture multiple worm shapes during the undulatory movement. The worm body trajectories can be well represented in terms of piecewise sinusoidal curvature with abrupt changes in amplitude, wavevector, and phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere40121
JournalPloS one
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 6 2012

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