Genome Technology Center

Investigating bacterial gene regulation using a fluctuation correlation method

Yufang Wang
Ph.D. in Physics, Princeton University


Gene expression is stochastic. Part of the protein level fluctuation comes from the reaction's stochastic nature, while the other part comes from the upstream substance. We demonstrated mathematically how the fluctuation correlationcan be used to analyze regulatory pathways. We also showed an easy way to measure fluctuation correlation using time-lapse microscopy at the single microcolony level. We used this approach to investigate the LuxR and Qrr4 in Vibrio harveyi. It was confirmed that LuxR upregulates Qrr4 at the low autoinducer concentration but not at the high autoinducer concentration. We also proposed an unknown regulatory link exists between LuxO and LuxR. The microcolony correlation method is a non-invasive way to help analyze the regulatory circuit.

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