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Dynamical responses of oscillating yeast cell suspensions to periodic forcing.

doi: 10.6062/jcis.2012.03.02.0053(Free PDF)


Giordano N., d’Ovidio F., Danø S., Sørensen P. G., and De Monte S.


Fermenting S. cerevisiae cells suspensions undergo synchronized metabolic oscillations whose amplitude and frequency depends on the population density. The asymptotic population-level dynamics is qualitatively and quantitatively accounted for by mathematical models describing the intracellular glycolytic oscillations and the coupling through the external medium. Such dynamical systems often display low-dimensional dynamics for the parameters that quantitatively fit the experimental observations. However, the high dimensionality of the chemical space and the possible existence of intermingled time scales can potentially support more complex dynamics, in particular when the system is perturbed by external forcings. Here, we explore experimentally and by means of numerical models the response of cellular populations to different kinds of periodic forcing: resonant forcing of diluted, nonoscillating populations and strongly nonresonant forcing of populations in oscillating regimes with different dynamical features. We show that, in all cases, low-dimensional semi-quantitative models reproduce the observed dynamics. Both a nonlinear analysis of the experimental time series and the models indicate that complex-looking time series correspond to quasiperiodic and not to chaotic regimes. The fact that low-dimensional dynamical systems are able to reproduce the response of biological populations in different regimes of external periodic forcing supports the use of theoretical models for inquiring the dynamical behaviour of collectively oscillating cells.


glycolytic oscillations, forced oscillations, quasiperiodicity in biological populations, complex cellular dynamics, cell synchronization, dynamical quorum sensing.


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