Difference Between Taxis vs. Kinesis

Main difference

The main difference between taxis and kinesis is that taxis refers to a specific and directional motion whereas kinesis refers to random and wandering motion.

Taxis vs. Kinesis

Taxis and kinesis are usually present in the behavior of animals and insects around us. Taxis refers to a specific and directional motion while kinesis is random and undirected motion. The only character that they both share is classified as movements when one reacts to stimuli. In taxis, the movement of an organism towards the stimuli is more active, but in kinesis, the approach to stimuli is not more active due to its random movement. The rate of taxis is less correlated with the intensity of the stimulus whereas the rate of the kinesis depends on the intensity of the stimulus. Magnetotaxis, Aerotaxis phototaxis, and chemotaxis are the example of taxis while orthokinesis and klinokinesis are the two types of kinesis.

Comparison Chart

TaxisKinesis
The motion of cell or organism in response to an external stimulusAn undirected movement of cell and organism in response to an external stimulus
Movement
A directional movementA random movement
Types
Phototaxis, chemotaxis, aerotaxis, telotaxis, tropotaxis, klinotaxisOrthokinesis, klinokinesis
Examples
Single cell green algae Chlamydomonas, movement of spermMimosa and woodlouse

What is Taxis?

Taxis moves in the direction of the stimuli or away from it. It occurs either towards or away from an actual stimulus. Positive taxis discusses the movement of the organism towards the stimulus while negative taxis refers to that organism moves away from the stimuli. There are some examples of taxis, but the important ones are telotaxis, mnemotaxis, menotaxis, and magnetotaxis. First is the telotaxis which describing the motion of visual predators who can see distant visual signals so they can move easily to attack. Secondly is mnemotaxis – it involves the map reading through the use of landmarks. Birds usually use this kind of taxis to remember street signs and familiar buildings. In simple words, mnemotaxis is mainly moving by memory. The third is the telotaxis which is a kind of taxis that involves animals which maintain a constant angle to a stimulus. For example, honeybees establishing their way on the arc of the sun, which is the stimulus they utilize the polarizing light the sun gives to locate the sun’s position at any time of the day. Last is the magnetotaxis which involves the orientation in response to magnetic signals; a wide variety of animals use magnetic signs to be able to navigate. According to the type of stimulus, taxis categorize as phototaxis refers to the stimulus of light, chemotaxis explains the stimulus of a chemical compound, aerotaxis states stimulus of oxygen, etc. Depending on the variety of sensory organ, taxis are subdividing into klinotaxis, tropotaxis. In klinotaxis, organisms are constantly searching for the path of the stimuli. In tropotaxis, two-sided sense organs such as antennae are using to determine the direction of the stimulus.

Examples

Chlamydomonas a single cell green algae move towards the light from low light intensity to high intensity. This movement can reflect as positive phototaxis. In multicellular organisms, sperm movement towards the egg cell also considers as positive chemotaxis.

What is Kinesis?

Kinesis is designating as a non-directional response by organisms to a stimulus. The organism cannot move towards, or away from the location of the stimulus, instead it shows random movements to move into a comfortable place. Kinesis moves irregularly and refers to the change in the action of an organism depending on the intensity of a stimulus. Some types of stimuli generating kinesis are gas exposure, ambient temperature, etc. They also generate random movements. Kinesis is neither positive nor negative. Instead of the organism stirring towards or away from the stimulus, the stimulus causes it to bolt in random directions. Depending on the relief zone of each organism, the rate of kinesis can differ as fast movement shows that the organism is searching for a relief zone while slow movement indicates that the organism is already establishing its comfort zone. Kinesis is dividing into two types as orthokinesis and klinokinesis. Orthokinesis involves the requirement of stimulus to the movement of the individual. The movement of woodlice near the temperature around it. When humidity increases, the position of the woodlice is staying stationary. Klinokinesis contains the frequency or rate of turning proportional to the intensity of the stimulus.

Examples

A woodlouse moves at a drier surface rapidly in search of a more humid place. Thigmonasty is a touch-induced movement of Mimosa leaves vary with the intensity of stimuli such as rapid cool, touch, and heat.

Key Differences

  1. Taxis is a specific and directed motion while kinesis is random and undirected motion.
  2. Taxis is a directional movement which occurs towards or away from the stimuli conversely kinesis is a random movement.
  3. The rate of taxis is less correlated with the intensity of the stimulus whereas the rate of kinesis is dependent on the intensity of the stimulus.
  4. Aerotaxis, magnetotaxis, phototaxis, and chemotaxis are examples of taxis while orthokinesis and klinokinesis are the two types of kinesis.

Conclusion

Above this discussion, it concludes that taxis is a movement or direction of a cell, part, or organism in response to external stimuli while kinesis is an undirected movement of a cell, part, or organism in response to external stimuli. These two are generally present in the behavior of animals and insects around us.

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