Matteo Brilli, PhD
INRIA - Rhone-Alpes et Laboratorie de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive
Cell cycle regulation in Bacteria has recently attracted much attention, especially in the alpha-proteobacterium Caulobacter crescentus. In this bacterium a complex regulatory network is at the basis of asymmetric division and differentiation. To understand how the system was assembled during evolution, we integrated orthologs classification and transcriptional regulatory motif finding to reconstruct the most plausible regulatory network in several other alpha-proteobacteria. Our results indicate that at least for some taxonomic group of alpha-proteobacteria we can recognize a similar arrangement of the regulatory network with structural differences but the same logic. Functional modules recognized in Caulobacter can be absent but in general they are somehow bypassed. Since mathematical modeling of cell cycle has been performed for Caulobacter, we suggest to integrate modeling and comparative genomics analysis to introduce what we call comparative systems biology, a novel approach whose ultimate target is obtaining meaningful comparisons of the dynamical properties of the same system in different organisms and focus on systems’ evolution.
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