Information and communication theory in molecular biology. The Evolutive Adaptation of the Transcriptional Information Transmission in Escherichia coli.

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This project is part of the DFG Priority Programme 1395

Ronny Feuer
Tel.: +49 - 711 - 685 6656

Michael Ederer
Tel.: +49 - 711 - 685 66194

University of Stuttgart
Institute for System Dynamics
Pfaffenwaldring 9
70569 Stuttgart


Project description

Evolution is the process of adaptation of organisms to their respective environment by permanent genetic alterations. Evolutive adaptation proceeds by stochastic mutations and selection of the fittest individuals. A basic problem is to understand how a population of organisms adapts to an environment. Mutations are stochastic events on the molecular level that lead to a change of the intracellular information channels from transcription factors to genes and metabolic fluxes. For this reason a communication theoretic approach is promising. The main goal of this project is the information theoretic characterisation and analysis of the intracellular information exchange during evolutive adaptation at the example of Escherichia coli populations. An information theoretic model of a cell population is a complex communication system where the inputs and outputs are stochastic variables, namely, transcription factor activities, gene expression, and metabolic fluxes. A cell population is considered in order to be able to model population averaged measurements. This theoretical model will be developed and iteratively adapted to experiments on the time scale of several hundred generations in a well defined environment for Escherichia coli. The experiments are based on a well established platform which was built up by the ISYS and the IMB and was and is used for other projects, too.


  1. Institute for System Dynamics, (ISYS), CSB, University of Stuttgart: O. Sawodny, M. Ederer

  2. Institute of Microbiology (IMB), CSB, University of Stuttgart: G. Sprenger

  3. Institute for Telecommunications and Applied Information Theory (TAIT) University of ULM: M. Bossert

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