Microbial mechanics: The growth and form of filamentary microorganisms

Michael Tabor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews the basic principles of hyphal growth in filamentary bacteria and fungi. While geometric models can provide a simple route to finding idealized hyphal tip shapes, biomechanical models provide a realistic continuum description that can include information about the cell wall structure and the growth process itself. The use of the nonlinear elastic theory of shells combined with biomechanical growth mechanisms produce realistic hyphal shapes and reveal a self-similar pattern of tip propagation as well as a possible explanation of the so called normal growth hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNew Trends in the Physics and Mechanics of Biological Systems
Subtitle of host publicationLecture Notes of the Les Houches Summer School: July 2009
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191729522
ISBN (Print)9780199605835
StatePublished - Sep 22 2011


  • Biomechanics
  • Geometric models
  • Hyphal growth
  • Nonlinear elasticity
  • Tip growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Microbial mechanics: The growth and form of filamentary microorganisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this