One day in the life of a one-dimensional developing organism
Prof. Dr. Joel Stavans (Department of Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)
Within the last two decades it has become clear that cells having the same genetic information can behave very differently due to inevitable stochastic fluctuations in gene expression, known as noise. Noise can be advantageous in certain contexts but detrimental in others. How do cells in multicellular organisms achieve high precision in their developmental fate in the presence of noise, in order to reap the benefits of division of labor? We address this fundamental question from Physics and Systems Biology perspectives with cyanobacterial filaments, one of the earliest examples of multicellular organisms in Nature. These filaments form one-dimensional, nearly-regular patterns of cells of two types, a “1-d Ising model of development”, when subjected to a specific environmental cue. The results of our statistical analysis illuminate the fundamental role that positive feedback, lateral inhibition and cell-cell communication play in the developmental program, and establish the spatial extent to which gene expression is correlated along filaments.
Student event: Meet the speaker
We invite you to a student-only discussion-round with Prof. Dr. Joel Stavans before his Munich Physics Colloquium talk.
Be curious and feel free to ask any question.
Monday, 2 May 2016, 16:00 h
Seminar room PH 3076 (upper floor), Physik-Department der TUM, Garching