In bacterial populations, cells are able to cooperate in order to yield complex collective functionalities. Interest in population-level cellular behaviour is increasing, due to both our expanding knowledge of the underlying biological principles, and the growing range of possible applications for engineered microbial consortia. The ability of cells to interact through small signalling molecules (a mechanism known as quorum sensing) is the basis for the majority of existing engineered systems. However, horizontal gene transfer (or conjugation) offers the possibility of cells exchanging messages (using DNA) that are much more information-rich. The potential of engineering this conjugation mechanism to suit specific goals will guide future developments in this area. Motivated by a lack of computational models for examining the specific dynamics of conjugation, we present a simulation framework for its further study.
|Title of host publication
|Unconventional and Natural Computation (UCNC 2015)
|Published - 2015
|Lecture Notes in Computer Science