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Open Seminar March 28, 2017, 12:00

Open Seminars of the Research Group on


Stochasticity and Control in the Dynamics and Diversity of Immune Repertories: an Example of Multi-Cellular Co-Operation


Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 12:00

at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, Room 128



Eco-evolutionary dynamics of microbial communication - me, us and them


Avigdor Eldar (Tel Aviv University)


Bacteria use simple cell-cell communication systems to monitor their density in the environment and control collective behaviors. This quorum-sensing mechanism works by the secretion of a small diffusible molecule and its identification by a specific receptor. Many bacterial species show divergence in their quorum-sensing "languages", reflected in the co-expression of multiple quorum-sensing systems and in high levels of genetic variability within the population. Here I explore the impact of cell-cell signaling on sociality at three different levels, using Bacillus subtilis as a model system. At the physiological level, I show that different types of quorum-sensing systems show 'self-sensing' – i.e., respond cell-autonomously to their own signal. At the ecological level, I show that exploitive social selection can explain the observed diversity patterns of different types of quorum-sensing systems. Finally, at the evolutionary level, we find that lateral gene transfer and gene duplication contribute to the evolution of quorum-sensing diversity at different levels of genomic organization.



Related Research Questions


1) The problem of evo-devo in bacteria: What is the interplay between regulatory network structure and selection?
2) Social evolution in bacteria: Does social evolution drives bacterial diversification?
3) Bacterial cell-cell signaling: How does diversity in bacterial cell-cell signaling systems arise and what are its impacts on their function? 



Suggested Reading


Facultative cheating supports the co-existence of multiple quorum-sensing pherotypes.
Shaul Pollak, Shira Omer Bendori, Eran Even-Tov, Valeria Lipsman, Tasneem Bareia, Ishay Ben-Zion,Avigdor Eldar
PNAS, 113(8):2152-7 (2016)


Social evolution selects for redundancy in bacterial quorum sensing.
Eran Even-Tov, Shira Omer Bendori, Julie Valastyan, Xiaobo Ke, Shaul Pollak, Tasneem Bareia, Ishay Ben-Zion, Bonnie L. Bassler and Avigdor Eldar
PLoS Biology, 14(2): e1002386 (2016)


Transient Duplication-Dependent Divergence and Horizontal Transfer Underlie the Evolutionary Dynamics of Bacterial Cell–Cell Signaling
Eran Even-Tov, Shira Omer Bendori, Shaul Pollak, Avigdor Eldar
PLoS Biology, 14(12): e2000330 (2016)



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