Section: New Results

Survival of the Fattest: Evolutionary Trade-offs in Cellular Resource Storage

Participants : Guillaume Terradot, Andreea Beica, Andrea Weiße, Vicent Danos [correspondant] .

Cells derive resources from their environments and use them to fuel the bio-synthetic processes that determine cell growth. Depending on how responsive the bio-synthetic processes are to the availability of intracellular resources, cells can build up different levels of resource storage.

In [16], we use a recent mathematical model of the coarse-grained mechanisms that drive cellular growth to investigate the effects of cellular resource storage on growth. We show that, on the one hand, there is a cost associated with high levels of storage resulting from the loss of stored resources due to dilution. We further show that, on the other hand, high levels of storage can benefit cells in variable environments by increasing biomass production during transitions from one medium to another. Our results thus suggest that cells may face trade-offs in their maintenance of resource storage based on the frequency of environmental change.