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Dynamic laser speckle and fuzzy mathematical morphology applied to studies of chemotaxis towards hydrocarbons

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The movement of the microorganisms towards a higher concentration of the chemical attractant is called positive chemotaxis and is involved in the efficiency of chemical degradation. Several studies are focused in this field related to genomics, and towards demonstrating chemotactic responses by bacteria, but there is little information related to the activity and morphology of their response. In this work, we use a recently reported dynamic speckle laser method, to process images and to distinguish motile surface patterns per area of colonisation by applying image processing techniques called fuzzy mathematical morphology (FMM). The images of bacterial colonies are usually surfaced, with vague edges and non–homogeneous grey levels. Hence, conventional image processing methods for shape analysis cannot be applied in these cases. In this paper, we propose the application FMM to solve this problem. The approach given was effective to segment, detect and also to describe colonisation patterns.

Keywords: dynamic laser speckle, FMM, fuzzy mathematical morphology, biodegradation, chemotaxis, hydrocarbons, Pseudomonas, swim assay, image processing, bacterial colonies, colonisation patterns

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