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Sci. Signal., 18 October 2011
Vol. 4, Issue 195, p. ec290
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4195ec290]


Synthetic Biology How Escherichia coli Got Its Stripes

Valda K. Vinson

Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA

How living organisms develop regular anatomic patterns can be difficult to unravel when studied in the context of complex physiology. Synthetic biology provides a bottom-up approach to identify minimal circuits that can drive patterning. Liu et al. describe a synthetic genetic circuit that couples cell density and motility to program the formation of periodic stripes in a growing E. coli population. The system could be adjusted to modulate the patterning, and a mathematical model was able to predict the experimental results.

C. Liu, X. Fu, L. Liu, X. Ren, C. K. L. Chau, S. Li, L. Xiang, H. Zeng, G. Chen, L.-H. Tang, P. Lenz, X. Cui, W. Huang, T. Hwa, J.-D. Huang, Sequential establishment of stripe patterns in an expanding cell population. Science 334, 238–241 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: V. K. Vinson, How Escherichia coli Got Its Stripes. Sci. Signal. 4, ec290 (2011).

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