Dictionary > Thermotaxis

Thermotaxis

Definition
noun
A form of taxis characterized by the directional movement of an organism in response to temperature
Supplement
Taxis is a behavioral response of a cell or an organism to an external stimulus. The movement is characteristically 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). Thermotaxis is a form of taxis and is characterized by the movement of an organism in response to temperature.
Thermotaxis is the movement of an organism according to the gradient of temperature. For instance, slime molds and certain nematodes (i.e. Meloidogyne incognita) migrate to shallow temperature gradients of less than 0.1C/cm and sometimes as low as 0.001C/cm.1, 2 This behavior is essential in moving towards an environment with an optimal level in soil.3
Word origin: Ancient Greek thermós (“warm, hot”) + taxis
Compare:

See also:

  • taxis
  • Reference(s):

    1 Pline, D., and Dusenbery, J. (1988). Extremely sensitive thermotaxis of the nematode Meloidogyne incognita.Nematology 20:605-608.

    2 Dusenbery, D. B. (1992). Sensory Ecology. New York: W. H. Freeman. p.114.

    3 Dusenbery, D. B. (1988). Avoided temperature leads to the surface. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 22:219-223.


    You will also like...

    DNA molecule
    Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

    Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..

    Genetics and Evolution
    Genetics and Evolution

    Humans are diploid creatures. This means that for every chromosome in the body, there is another one to match it. Howeve..

    Human gastrointestinal tract
    Human Biology – Food and Digestion

    This tutorial recognizes the importance of food as a source of energy that will fuel many biological processes. A good d..

    Stem
    Stems

    Stems primarily provide plants structural support. This tutorial includes lectures on the external form of a woody twig ..

    river
    Running Water Freshwater Communities

    This tutorial introduces flowing water communities, which bring new and dithering factors into the equation for possible..

    Control of body movement
    Control of Body Movement

    Some of the body movements can be controlled at will, others cannot. The body has a motor program, which is the pattern ..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics