Entrainment of a genetic oscillator

Title:

Marching along to an Offbeat Drum: Entrainment of Synthetic Gene Oscillators by a Noisy Stimulus

Author(s):

Nicholas C. Butzin Philip Hochendoner Curtis T. Ogle Paul Hill William H. Mather

Publication:

Published in: ACS Synthetic Biology
Volume: 5, Issue: 2, Pages: 146-153
Published: 02/19/2016
DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.5b00127
Website: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acssynbio.5b00127

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This paper from Bill Mather group in the Physics Department at Virginia Tech shows how a genetic oscillator responds to noisy signals. The authors show that the oscillator gets entrained despite the noise affecting the input signal. This is a nice use of an existing oscillator developed in Jeff Hasty’s group. After demonstrating this property of a synthetic genetic network, the paper shows that similar behavior can be expected from natural oscillators by performing numerical simulations of the cAMP oscillations in D. discoideum. It also shows that similar behavior can be expected in the dynamics of entire populations by analyzing a predator-prey model.

It is a little surprising that this paper was published in ACS Synthetic Biology because, even though it uses an artificial gene network as a tool, this is much more a more theoretical paper about general properties of biological oscillators.