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The precision with which single cells of Dictyostelium discoideum can locate a source of cyclic AMP

Chopra, Abha and Nanjundiah, Vidyanand (2013) The precision with which single cells of Dictyostelium discoideum can locate a source of cyclic AMP. In: Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, 50 (SI). pp. 3-12.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chaos.2013.01.007


When stimulated by a point source of cyclic AMP, a starved amoeba of Dictyostelium discoideum responds by putting out a hollow balloon-like membrane extension followed by a pseudopod. The effect of the stimulus is to influence the position where either of these protrusions is made on the cell rather than to cause them to be made. Because the pseudopod forms perpendicular to the cell surface, its location is a measure of the precision with which the cell can locate the cAMP source. Cells beyond 1 h of starvation respond non-randomly with a precision that improves steadily thereafter. A cell that is starved for 1-2 h can locate the source accurately 43% of the time; and if starved for 6-7 h, 87% of the time. The response always has a high scatter; population-level heterogeneity reflects stochasticity in single cell behaviour. From the angular distribution of the response its maximum information content is estimated to be 2-3 bits. In summary, we quantitatively demonstrate the stochastic nature of the directional response and the increase in its accuracy over time.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Chaos, Solitons & Fractals
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2013 05:24
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2013 05:24
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/46689

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