Bioinformatics Preprint 05-012
CelloS: a Multi-level Approach to Evolutionary Dynamics
Camille Stephan-Otto Attolini, Peter F. Stadler, Christoph Flamm
We study the evolution of simple cells that are equipped with a genome, a rudimentary gene regulation network at transcription level and two classes of functional genes: motion effectors allow the cell to move in response to nutrient gradients while nutrient importers are required to actually feed from the environment. The model is inspired by the protist Naegleria gruberi which can switch between a feeding and dividing amoeboid state and a mobile flagellate state depending on environmental conditions. Simulation results demonstrate how selection in a variable environment affects the gene number and efficiency so that the cells can rapidly switch from one expression regime to the other depending on the external conditions.
Keywords: Artificial Cells, gene regulation, evolution, Naegleria gruberi
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