Possible epigenetic influence on cellular differentiation and lineage segregation in Escherichia coli
- Subject Areas
- Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology
- epigenetics, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq), environmental stressors, Escherichia coli, growth response, microfluidics, cellular differentiation, epigenetic markers, transcriptomics, genomics
- © 2019 Ng
- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
- Cite this article
- 2019. Possible epigenetic influence on cellular differentiation and lineage segregation in Escherichia coli. PeerJ Preprints 7:e27704v1 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.27704v1
Epigenetics provides the critical connection between environmental influence and gene expression, where environmental stressors could modulate expression of specific genes in particular scenarios using molecular markers etched at the genome level. Hence, epigenetics likely play important roles in potentiating the development of specific lineages, cell fate or cellular differentiation. For example, when specific environmental stressor is present, epigenetic markers in the genome receive a signal for either activating or deactivating expression of particular sets of genes, which may be linked to the developmental trajectory of the organism. Using Escherichia coli as model organism, a possible study may investigate the role of epigenetics in influencing cellular differentiation of the bacterium. Specifically, a single E. coli cell would be propagated into a consortium of 12 or more bacterial cells in a microfluidics growth chamber. Genetic material extracted would be sent for single cell genomics, transcriptomics, and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq). After profiling, the residual population would be diverted by microchannels to 6 different cell growth chambers, where they would be cultivated under identical conditions for understanding possible triggers to cell differentiation. At suitable time points of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 hours, single cell would be extracted from each growth chamber for profiling single cell genomics, transcriptomics, and epigenetics markers. Optical and confocal laser scanning microscopy would provide readout of cell morphologies. Comparison of the readout between the original clonal population and those of the different growth chambers may provide important points for correlating epigenetic markers with gene expression and phenotypic readout in cell lineage, fate and differentiation. In subsequent experiments, different environmental stressors such as pH, imbalance nutrient composition between carbon and nitrogen, nanoparticles or heavy metals, could be used as triggers for specific cell growth response guided by epigenetic programmes embedded within the epigenome of the bacterium. Collectively, epigenetics hold influence for cellular differentiation in view of specific environmental stressors, where epigenetic markers on the genome communicate specific environmental factor's effect on the organism through altering expression of particular sets of genes, that result in different cell fate, lineage and differentiation. Using modern single cell techniques at the genomics, transcriptomics and epigenomics level, the study hopes to elucidate epigenetic potentiators of cellular differentiation in E. coli with and without environmental stressors such as nutrient deprivation, pH and toxic metals.
This is an abstract preprint.