Matching Items (2)

153262-Thumbnail Image.png

Cell quota based population models and their applications

Description

In 1968, phycologist M.R. Droop published his famous discovery on the functional relationship between growth rate and internal nutrient status of algae in chemostat culture. The simple notion that growth

In 1968, phycologist M.R. Droop published his famous discovery on the functional relationship between growth rate and internal nutrient status of algae in chemostat culture. The simple notion that growth is directly dependent on intracellular nutrient concentration is useful for understanding the dynamics in many ecological systems. The cell quota in particular lends itself to ecological stoichiometry, which is a powerful framework for mathematical ecology. Three models are developed based on the cell quota principal in order to demonstrate its applications beyond chemostat culture.

First, a data-driven model is derived for neutral lipid synthesis in green microalgae with respect to nitrogen limitation. This model synthesizes several established frameworks in phycology and ecological stoichiometry. The model demonstrates how the cell quota is a useful abstraction for understanding the metabolic shift to neutral lipid production that is observed in certain oleaginous species.

Next a producer-grazer model is developed based on the cell quota model and nutrient recycling. The model incorporates a novel feedback loop to account for animal toxicity due to accumulation of nitrogen waste. The model exhibits rich, complex dynamics which leave several open mathematical questions.

Lastly, disease dynamics in vivo are in many ways analogous to those of an ecosystem, giving natural extensions of the cell quota concept to disease modeling. Prostate cancer can be modeled within this framework, with androgen the limiting nutrient and the prostate and cancer cells as competing species. Here the cell quota model provides a useful abstraction for the dependence of cellular proliferation and apoptosis on androgen and the androgen receptor. Androgen ablation therapy is often used for patients in biochemical recurrence or late-stage disease progression and is in general initially effective. However, for many patients the cancer eventually develops resistance months to years after treatment begins. Understanding how and predicting when hormone therapy facilitates evolution of resistant phenotypes has immediate implications for treatment. Cell quota models for prostate cancer can be useful tools for this purpose and motivate applications to other diseases.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

156639-Thumbnail Image.png

Understanding the emerging behaviors and demands for the colony success of social insects: a mathematical approach

Description

The most advanced social insects, the eusocial insects, form often large societies in which there is reproductive division of labor, queens and workers, have overlapping generations, and cooperative brood care

The most advanced social insects, the eusocial insects, form often large societies in which there is reproductive division of labor, queens and workers, have overlapping generations, and cooperative brood care where daughter workers remain in the nest with their queen mother and care for their siblings. The eusocial insects are composed of representative species of bees and wasps, and all species of ants and termites. Much is known about their organizational structure, but remains to be discovered.

The success of social insects is dependent upon cooperative behavior and adaptive strategies shaped by natural selection that respond to internal or external conditions. The objective of my research was to investigate specific mechanisms that have helped shaped the structure of division of labor observed in social insect colonies, including age polyethism and nutrition, and phenomena known to increase colony survival such as egg cannibalism. I developed various Ordinary Differential Equation (ODE) models in which I applied dynamical, bifurcation, and sensitivity analysis to carefully study and visualize biological outcomes in social organisms to answer questions regarding the conditions under which a colony can survive. First, I investigated how the population and evolutionary dynamics of egg cannibalism and division of labor can promote colony survival. I then introduced a model of social conflict behavior to study the inclusion of different response functions that explore the benefits of cannibalistic behavior and how it contributes to age polyethism, the change in behavior of workers as they age, and its biological relevance. Finally, I introduced a model to investigate the importance of pollen nutritional status in a honeybee colony, how it affects population growth and influences division of labor within the worker caste. My results first reveal that both cannibalism and division of labor are adaptive strategies that increase the size of the worker population, and therefore, the persistence of the colony. I show the importance of food collection, consumption, and processing rates to promote good colony nutrition leading to the coexistence of brood and adult workers. Lastly, I show how taking into account seasonality for pollen collection improves the prediction of long term consequences.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018