Bacteria undergo a well-studied transient differentiation into a state of competence, during which they can take up DNA from the environment. It is a rare example of a developmental system understood sufficiently well to be analyzed in a rigorous quantitative manner. Süel et al. use mathematical models and precise experimental measurements to describe key properties of this developmental system. The frequency and duration of episodes of competence could be independently tuned by simple changes in gene expression, and such variations in gene expression could also give rise to distinct dynamic properties of the system.
- Modeling Competence
A genetic circuit for bacterial cell differentiation exhibits a surprisingly varied repertoire of dynamic responses that depend on the amount of noise in the component biochemical reactions.Permalink: