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Decoding the Principles of Emergence and Resiliency in Biological Collective Systems - A Multi-scale Approach

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Technical Report,17 Jan 2017,16 Jan 2019

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University of Southern California Los Angeles United States

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Microbial communities are known to display complex, collective behaviors. However, the underlying principles as to how these behaviors arise despite uncertainty in molecular and cellular components of the system remains unclear. Consequently, we examine the robustness of collective behaviors in microbial communities, using pattern formation of wild coliform bacteria as a model system. Many coliform bacteria naturally form complex dynamic patterns that arise from the combination of chemotaxis, nutrient degradation, and the exchange of amino acids between cells. Using both quantitative experimental methods and several theoretical frameworks, we dissect bacterial pattern formation at multiple scales, from the molecules to individual cells to self-organizing populations. By comparing pattern formation from multiple wild isolates, we attempt to identify universal principles that govern robust, collective behaviors in biological systems.

Subject Categories:

  • Microbiology
  • Cybernetics

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