Dictionary > Taxis

Taxis

Definition
noun, plural: taxes
A behavioral response of a cell or an organism to an external stimulus, which may either be towards (attraction) or away (repulsion) from the source of stimulation
Supplement
Taxis is a behavioral response of a cell or an organism to an external stimulus. It should not be confused with kinesis, which is also a behavioral response leading to the movement of a cell or an organism to an external stimulus. The difference though is that in kinesis the movement is random or not directionally oriented whereas in taxis the movement is directional. The movement may be positive or negative. A positive taxis is one in which the organism or a cell moves towards the source of stimulation (attraction). A negative taxis is when the organism or a cell moves away from the source of stimulation (repulsion). Taxis is also different from tropism, which is an involuntary orienting response; positive or negative reaction to a stimulus source.
There are many types of taxis identified:

  • aerotaxis
  • anemotaxis
  • barotaxis
  • chemotaxis
  • durotaxis
  • galvanotaxis
  • gravitaxis
  • hydrotaxis
  • magnetotaxis
  • phonotaxis
  • phototaxis
  • rheotaxis
  • thermotaxis
  • thigmotaxis

Word origin: Ancient Greek ‎kínēsis (“motion, movement”)
Compare:

Related term(s):

  • Chemotaxis
  • Allelotaxis
  • Serotaxis
  • Biotaxis
  • Rheotaxis
  • Neutrotaxis
  • Sitotaxis


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