E.coli Colony -- A model of the lac genetic switch in a colony of fast-growing E. coli cells. Here we see LacY in yellow, and bursts of mRNA in pink. As we watch these cells respond to environmental Lactose we can see the stochastic nature of protein production and gene regulation in progress as two cells switch from an uninduced basal LacY state to an induced high-LacY state.
Slow Growth Cell w/ Ribosomes -- A model of the lac genetic switch in a single slow-growing E. coli cell. The ribosomes are clearly visible in grey, particularly toward the ends, and their locations were taken from tomogram data. We can see LacY proteins in yellow, and bursts of mRNA in red in the viscinity of the Lac operator, shown green when bound to a repressor and white when unbound and capable of being transcribed.
Slow Growth Cell w/out Ribosomes -- The same lac genetic switch model in a slow-growing cell as above, but with the ribosomes removed for clarity. The distinct condensed nucleoid region appearing here and above was formed using a biased random walk algorithm.
Repressor Binding in Slow Growth Cell -- Here we highlight the dynamics of the repressors, seen here in the cytosol in light blue when bound to a single lactose, and darker blue when doubly bound.
Repressor Rebinding -- Here we see explore the role of crowding in the microscopic dynamics of a repressor, shown in white, unbinding and rebinding the lac operator, shown in pink. Obstacles appearing here are ribosomes in orange, large protein complexes in light green, and small complexes and individual proteins in dark green. The chromosome is shown here in red.