Reaction-diffusion coupling (RDc) generates spatiotemporal patterns, including two dynamic wave modes: traveling and standing waves. Although mode selection plays a substantial role in the spatiotemporal organization of living cell molecules, the mechanism for selecting each wave mode remains elusive. Here, we investigated a wave mode selection mechanism using Min waves reconstituted in artificial cells, emerged by the RDc of MinD and MinE. Our experiments and theoretical analysis revealed that the balance of membrane binding and dissociation from the membrane of MinD determines the mode selection of the Min wave. We successfully demonstrated that the transition of the wave modes can be regulated by controlling this balance and found hysteresis characteristics in the wave mode transition. These findings highlight a previously unidentified role of the balance between activators and inhibitors as a determinant of the mode selection of waves by RDc and depict an unexplored mechanism in intracellular spatiotemporal pattern formations.
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