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Horizontal Transfer Turing Patterns

Horizontal gene transfer is an evolutionary mechanism that contributes to the acquisition of new genetic material among organisms; as such it helps bacteria to acquire antibiotic resistance and other genetic devices. The main goal is to design a devise that would detect events of horizontal gene transfer among bacteria.

Genetically modified E. coli were monitored until a detectable sign appears in the media, indicating an event of horizontal transfer. In order to detect such events, we will use plasmids as the genetic material that could be transferred in a bacterial culture.


We are trying to reproduce Turing patterns using a genetic network. These spatial structures could in principle be generated by perturbing equilibrium configurations by the action of diffusion.

Although many mathematical models have been built based on these ideas in order to reproduce what is observed in biological systems, the identification of the actual substances that create the patterns (morphogenes) is still not clear. We propose a different approach, namely, to implement a genetic network in order to recover Turing patterns in a biological system.