Sugar processing in Escherichia coli - Systems Biology

The biological processes in a living cell influence each other and together form a complex system. The aim of systems biology is to predict these processes quantitatively. As an example in the course sugar utilization in the bacterium E. coli is chosen to answer the following questions: What are the possibilities for the mathematical representation of growth there, which parameters of which are biologically relevant? How does is growth linked to sugar utilization? Based on self-constructed models, the participants hypothesize and later verify experimentally how sugar utilization in E. coli works.

Experiments:

  • Photometric determination of growth in culture media with various sugars 
  • Characterize growth  under harsh conditions such as addion of antibiotics 
  • Photometric determination of the activity of the enzyme beta-galactosidase 

 Mathematical Modelling and Simulation:

 

  • Simulation of optimal, negative and zero growth with MS Excel.
  • Creation of models for sugar utilization with the software Cell Designer.
  • Merging the models into a complete, form hypotheses and suggest experiments.

 

Recommended: from grade 11 on
Duration: 1day

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Developed with support of the Joachim Herz Foundation.