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Models for the Avoidance Response in Phycomyces


Matus Bloch, Ivan J. (1988) Models for the Avoidance Response in Phycomyces. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/c5e3-v765.


The sporangiophore of the fungus Phycomyces is able to avoid obstacles placed a few millimeters from its growing zone. The work described in this thesis presents evidence that the avoidance response is mediated by gases. Avoidance occurs in still air in the diffusion limit, even at relative humidities close to 100%. It is shown that the effect of the surfaces of the obstacles cannot only be to reflect these gases: the surfaces must play a more active role. Models in which the surfaces adsorb growth-inhibitors or adsorb an inert precursor that is re-emitted as a growth-promoter that decays are in agreement with our experimental observations.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Berg, Howard C.
Thesis Committee:
  • Berg, Howard C. (chair)
  • Lester, Henry A.
  • Brokaw, Charles J.
  • Revel, Jean-Paul
  • Pine, Jerome
Defense Date:4 March 1987
Additional Information:Name in thesis file (PDF) -- Ivan J. Matus -- differs from name in 1988 commencement program.
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:02222013-111607349
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 2.
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7493
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:22 Feb 2013 19:28
Last Modified:03 Nov 2021 22:23

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