chemotaxis

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chemotaxis:

see taxistaxis
, movement of animals either toward or away from a stimulus, such as light (phototaxis), heat (thermotaxis), chemicals (chemotaxis), gravity (geotaxis), and touch (thigmotaxis). The turning movements of plants in response to stimuli are called tropisms.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chemotaxis

 

the movement of cells (zoospores, spermatozoids, leukocytes) and freely moving plants and protozoans in response to chemical stimuli. Positive chemotaxis is movement toward the source of the chemical stimulus (along the chemical concentration gradient in air or water); negative chemotaxis is movement away from the source. The phenomenon is known to exist in a number of microorganisms and invertebrates. The movement of insects in response to pheromones may also be regarded as chemotaxis.

The substances that induce chemotaxis vary from organism to organism. For example, cyclic adenosine monophosphate is an aggregating substance for soil myxomycetes of the genus Dictyostelium. Female sexual cells of the aquatic fungus Allomyces release the isoprenoid syrenin, a stimulus of chemotaxis of male sexual cells toward female cells. The mechanism by which a chemical signal is sensed (chemoreception) and the pathway to the corresponding physiological reaction, that is, oriented movement, are not thoroughly understood. Chemotaxis plays a part in the search for food, in fertilization in higher plants and animals, and in phagocytosis.

REFERENCES

Behaviour of Microorganisms. London-New York, 1973.
Chemotaxis: Its Biology and Biochemistry. Edited by E. Sorkin. Basel, 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

chemotaxis

[‚kē·mō′tak·səs]
(biology)
The orientation or movement of a motile organism with reference to a chemical agent.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.