Quantitative analysis of surface wave patterns of Min proteins

S. Meindlhumer, J.W.J. Kerssemakers, C. Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


The Min protein system is arguably the best-studied model system for biological pattern formation. It exhibits pole-to-pole oscillations in E. coli bacteria as well as a variety of surface wave patterns in in vitro reconstitutions. Such Min surface wave patterns pose particular challenges to quantification as they are typically only semi-periodic and non-stationary. Here, we present a methodology for quantitatively analysing such Min patterns, aiming for reproducibility, user-independence, and easy usage. After introducing pattern-feature definitions and image-processing concepts, we present an analysis pipeline where we use autocorrelation analysis to extract global parameters such as the average spatial wavelength and oscillation period. Subsequently, we describe a method that uses flow-field analysis to extract local properties such as the wave propagation velocity. We provide descriptions on how to practically implement these quantification tools and provide Python code that can directly be used to perform analysis of Min patterns.
Original languageEnglish
Article number930811
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • min proteins
  • pattern formation
  • image analysis
  • surface protein waves
  • quantification
  • python


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