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High stakes gambling: How E coli‎ bet with their lives

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Escherichia coli populations have evolved to survive under various environmental conditions. In ideal conditions E. coli populations grow rapidly by expressing one set of genes, whereas under stressful conditions another set of genes is expressed conferring stress resistance and causing, among other things, a reduction in growth rate. I will present preliminary evidence that a subpopulation of E. coli enters a stress resistant state at the cost of growth rate despite favourable environmental conditions, constituting a bet-hedging strategy.

This talk is part of the Caius MCR/SCR research talks series.

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