Stochastic switching to competence.

TitleStochastic switching to competence.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLeisner, M, Stingl, K, Frey, E, Maier, B
JournalCurr Opin Microbiol
Date Published2008 Dec
KeywordsBacillus subtilis, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Transformation, Bacterial

Distinct modes of gene expression enable isogenic populations of bacteria to maintain a diversity of phenotypes and to rapidly adapt to environmental changes. Competence development for DNA transformation in Bacillus subtilis has become a paradigm for a multimodal system which implements a genetic switch through a nonlinear positive feedback of a transcriptional master regulator. Recent advances in quantitative analysis at the single cell level in conjunction with mathematical modeling allowed a molecular level understanding of the switching probability between the noncompetent state and the competent state. It has been discovered that the genetic switching probability may be tuned by controlling noise in the transcription of the master regulator of competence, by timing of its expression, and by rewiring of the control circuit.

Alternate JournalCurr. Opin. Microbiol.