How to train your microbe: methods for dynamically characterizing gene networks
Castillo-Hair, Sebastian M.
Igoshin, Oleg A.
Tabor, Jeffrey J.
Gene networks regulate biological processes dynamically. However, researchers have largely relied upon static perturbations, such as growth media variations and gene knockouts, to elucidate gene network structure and function. Thus, much of the regulation on the path from DNA to phenotype remains poorly understood. Recent studies have utilized improved genetic tools, hardware, and computational control strategies to generate precise temporal perturbations outside and inside of live cells. These experiments have, in turn, provided new insights into the organizing principles of biology. Here, we introduce the major classes of dynamical perturbations that can be used to study gene networks, and discuss technologies available for creating them in a wide range of microbial pathways.