Self-organization is a hallmark of biological systems ranging from sub-cellular constituents to multicellular organisms. Using microorganisms as model systems, we seek to understand how multicellular systems can self-organize in space and time. In this talk I will introduce several remarkable examples of bacterial self-organization mediated by either purely physical forces or by complex sensory mechanisms, and will discuss how bacterial communities may benefit from these processes to coordinate large-scale collective translocation and to facilitate long-range material transport. The findings are relevant to non-equilibrium physics, active matter engineering and microbial physiology.
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