Waddington's Landscapes in the Bacterial World
|Author/s||Sánchez Romero, María Antonia
Casadesús Pursals, Josep
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Genética|
|Abstract||Conrad Waddington's epigenetic landscape, a visual metaphor for the development of multicellular organisms, is appropriate to depict the formation of phenotypic variants of bacterial cells. Examples of bacterial differentiation ...
Conrad Waddington's epigenetic landscape, a visual metaphor for the development of multicellular organisms, is appropriate to depict the formation of phenotypic variants of bacterial cells. Examples of bacterial differentiation that result in morphological change have been known for decades. In addition, bacterial populations contain phenotypic cell variants that lack morphological change, and the advent of fluorescent protein technology and single-cell analysis has unveiled scores of examples. Cell-specific gene expression patterns can have a random origin or arise as a programmed event. When phenotypic cell-to-cell differences are heritable, bacterial lineages are formed. The mechanisms that transmit epigenetic states to daughter cells can have strikingly different levels of complexity, from the propagation of simple feedback loops to the formation of complex DNA methylation patterns. Game theory predicts that phenotypic heterogeneity can facilitate bacterial adaptation to hostile or unpredictable environments, serving either as a division of labor or as a bet hedging that anticipates future challenges. Experimental observation confirms the existence of both types of strategies in the bacterial world.
|Funding agencies||Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICIN). España|
|Project ID.||Grant BIO2016- 75235-P|
|Citation||Sánchez Romero, M.A. y Casadesús Pursals, J. (2021). Waddington's Landscapes in the Bacterial World. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12, 685080.|