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Paper   IPM / Biological / 14910
School of Biological Sciences
  Title:   Stochastic Cell Fate and Longevity of Offspring
1.  Faezeh Dorri
2.  Hamid Pezeshk
3.  Mehdi Sadeghi
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Cell Journal
  No.:  3
  Vol.:  19
  Year:  2017
  Pages:   343-350
  Supported by:  IPM
Cellular decision-making is a key process in which cells with similar genetic and environmental background make dissimilar decisions. This stochastic process, which happens in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells including stem cells, causes cellular diversity and phenotypic variation. In addition, fitness predicts and describes changes in the genetic composition of populations throughout the evolutionary history. Fitness may thus be defined as the ability to adapt and produce surviving offspring. Here, we present a mathematical model to predict the fitness of a cell and to address the fundamental issue of phenotypic variation. We study a basic decision-making scenario where a bacteriophage lambda reproduces in E. coli, using both the lytic and the lysogenic pathways. In the lytic pathway, the bacteriophage replicates itself within the host bacterium. This fast replication overcrowds and in turn destroys the host bacterium. In the lysogenic pathway, however, the bacteriophage inserts its DNA into the host genome, and is replicated simultaneously with the host genome.

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