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Teaching E. coli to distinguish population numbers from population fractions

Teaching E. coli to distinguish population numbers from population fractions

By In Aiv Internship On March 12, 2019


Internship title: Teaching E. coli to distinguish population numbers from population fractions

LABORATORY
Name: Systems Engineering and Evolution Dynamics
Affiliation: CRI, Paris Descartes
Address: 8 bis Rue Charles V
E-mail: alvarobanderas@gmail.com

LAB Director
Name: Ariel Lindner
Phone number: +33144412525
E-mail: ariel.lindner@inserm.fr

SUPERVISOR
Name: Alvaro Banderas
Phone number: +33188328394
E-mail: alvarobanderas@gmail.com

Subject Keywords: Synthetic microbiology, Systems microbiology, Evolution of perception, Evolution of sex, Relative and absolute sensing
Tools and methodologies: Flow cytometry, synthetic biology, microbiology, mathematical modeling
Summary of lab’s interests: We compare the behavior of sex in natural and synthetic prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems to understand convergent evolution of intercellular signaling pathways evolved to find mating partners.
Project summary: Other CRI students (Aya Gomaa and Guillermo Nevot) have already constructed and made preliminary tests of a synthetic bacterial promoter that can, in principle, integrate chemosensory signals in an antagonistic way. That means that you can activate or repress it specifically with chemicals that are produced by other cells or by the carrying bacteria itself. If we connect this device to control cell growth, you could imagine a population of cells that remains stable in their proportions without any population taking over another, simply because they are ‘aware’ of their numbers, and the number of ‘others’. This could be useful: For example, if you want to make cheese with a precise composition of bacterial species, you could engineer it to autonomously generate the desired proportions
Interdisciplinary aspect of the project: Evolutionary systems biology is an interdisciplinary field