Single-Cell View of Bacterial Populations in Fluctuating Environments


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  • Speaker: Edo Kussell (New York University, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology)
  • Host Department: Physics
  • Date: 04/02/2013
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

  • Location: 411 West Hall

  • Description:

    By exposing cells to different fluctuations, and observing their behaviors, we would like to infer cellular mechanisms. To do this systematically, we developed a microfluidics device that allows up to fifty populations to be simultaneously tracked at single-cell resolution for many days under controlled fluctuations. This talk describes our recent experiments on bacterial populations exposed to periodic sugar fluctuations. The ability to obtain detailed lineage data motivates a general theoretical analysis. Populations can be described as collections of individual histories observed over fluctuating conditions. The statistical properties of this ensemble provide a powerful tool to distinguish individual response mechanisms from population-level selection.

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