A behavioral response of a cell or an organism to a soluble chemical that leads to random or directionally non-oriented movement


Chemokinesis is the non-oriented or random movement of a motile cell to a soluble chemical. It should not be confused with the other term, chemotaxis. Chemotaxis is a kind of taxis, in which bodily cells, bacteria, and other single-cell or multicellular organisms direct their movements according to certain chemicals in their environment. This is important for bacteria to find food (for example, glucose) by swimming towards the highest concentration of food molecules, or to flee from poisons (for example, phenol). It is a response of motile cells or organisms in which the direction of movement is affected by the gradient of a diffusible substance. It differs from chemokinesis in that the gradient alters probability ofmotion in one direction only, rather than rate or frequency of random motion. Similarly though, both chemotaxis and chemokinesis is chemically prompted movement of a cell.

Chemokinesis involves orthokinesis and klinokinesis. Orthokinesis is a form of kinesis in which the speed of movement of the individual depends upon the intensity of the stimulus. An increase in the speed of movement is a positive orthokinesis whereas a decrease in the speed is referred to as negative orthokinesis. Klinokinesis is another form of kinesis wherein the frequency or rate of turning is proportional to the intensity of the stimulus.

Word origin: chemo- (of chemicals) + kinesis


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