Statistical and Biological Physics

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Bacteria live in unpredictable environments, which deeply affect their evolution. Changes in nutrients abundance, for example, make the population grow and shrink. This, in turn varies the impact of single birth and death events on the genetic makeup of the population. Studying the coupled effect of these sources of randomness, we show that it promotes the survival of disadvantaged strains (such as public good producers). Our results are published on Physical Review Letters. more

Bacterial cells communicate with one another by using chemical signal molecules, which they synthesize and secrete into their surroundings. By this means, the behavior of an entire population can be controlled and coordinated. We have shown theoretically how such behavior can be accomplished through an ecological feedback even when only a subset of cells actually emits the signal. Our findings are published in the online journal eLife. more