Role of metabolic spatiotemporal dynamics in regulating biofilm colony expansion.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 Apr 17; 115(16):4288-4293.
Cell fate determination is typically regulated by biological networks, yet increasing evidences suggest that cell-cell communication and environmental stresses play crucial roles in the behavior of a cell population. A recent microfluidic experiment showed that the metabolic codependence of two cell populations generates a collective oscillatory dynamic during the expansion of a Bacillus subtilis biofilm. We develop a modeling framework for the spatiotemporal dynamics of the associated metabolic circuit for cells in a colony. We elucidate the role of metabolite diffusion and the need of two distinct cell populations to observe oscillations. Uniquely, this description captures the onset and thereafter stable oscillatory dynamics during expansion and predicts the existence of damping oscillations under various environmental conditions. This modeling scheme provides insights to understand how cells integrate the information from external signaling and cell-cell communication to determine the optimal survival strategy and/or maximize cell fitness in a multicellular system. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 Apr 17; 115(16):4288-4293.
Bocci, Federico; Suzuki, Yoko; Lu, Mingyang; and Onuchic, José N, "Role of metabolic spatiotemporal dynamics in regulating biofilm colony expansion." (2018). Faculty Research 2018. 116.