H. Kruize, MSc
Diversity and evolutionary transitions between network architectures of the chemotactic signaling pathway across bacteria.
Many motile bacteria are capable of adjusting their movement based on chemical gradients in their surroundings. The signal transduction cascade responsible for this chemotactic behavior is well characterized down to the molecular level. It contains a core of conserved proteins that can be exchanged between species without loss of function. However, different species of bacteria differ strikingly in the number and complexity of peripheral components of the chemotaxis network, which may have important functions in ecological adaptations to specific habitats.
We try to characterize the qualitative modifications of network architecture that have occurred across bacteria, and to explain the diversity of bacterial chemotaxis systems from an ecological perspective. In order to complete this, the evolution of the signal transduction cascades of different species of motile bacteria will be investigated and reconstructed, in relationship to ecological factors that may have favored changes in the function and structure of the chemotaxis network. Several of the striking transitions in network architecture that have occurred will be analyzed in detail using computational modelling, in order to reconstruct the evolutionary trajectories that have led from one network architecture to another.
|Last modified:||07 June 2018 12.36 p.m.|