Date(s) - 16/02/2005
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Title: Modelling Oscillations within Bacteria
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Rutenberg
Institute: Dalhousie University, Halifax
Location: ABB 102
Bacteria are self-assembling micromachines. E. coli locate their division midplane through an oscillation of several thousand Min molecules from end to end of the bacterium, with a period of about one minute. The oscillation is driven only by diffusion and association/release from the bacterial inner membrane. However, quantitative models of this phenomenon are still underdetermined by available data. We propose a novel approach to this problem. First, we combinatorially generate a number of plausible models. We screen these models for spatio-temporal oscillation. We then robustly optimize the working models. By comparing the resulting phenomenology with experimental results, we identify the best “minimal” model. Our approach is generic, and should be useful more generally in modelling bacteria and other robust biological systems.