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MultiLevelLandscape SIGNED

Multilevel Selection for Specificity and Divergence in Bacteria

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MultiLevelLandscape project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MultiLevelLandscape project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MultiLevelLandscape" about.

biofilms    implication    peptide    biological    generate    time    diversified    divergent    pioneer    manipulate    diversification    verify    unprecedented    landscapes    conflicts    deep    experimentally    direct    mutations    libraries    core    suggestions    cognate    landscape    theoretical    microscopy    communication    expansion    evolution    quantify    evolve    mutation    cellular    diversify    selfish    100    interaction    cell    influence    106    divergence    resolution    coordinated    interacting    valley    framework    populations    quantitative    predictive    map    screening    receptor    variants    combining    cells    constructing    co    multiple    mutational    specificity    mediating    empirically    levels    crossing    molecular    quantitatively    transfer    shift    pheromone    104    scanning    bacteria    fitness    lapse    horizontal    molecules    lineage    predictions    genes    modulate    phr    subtilis    competition    rap    assays    serious    speculated    consist    cooperation    functional    poses    link    multilevel    underlies   

Project "MultiLevelLandscape" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RAMAT AVIV
city: TEL AVIV
postcode: 69978

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Israel [IL]
 Total cost 2˙000˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙000˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-03-01   to  2022-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY IL (TEL AVIV) coordinator 2˙000˙000.00


 Project objective

The evolution of specificity between interacting biological molecules underlies the diversification and expansion of biological pathways. A shift in specificity poses a serious theoretical problem; it requires coordinated mutations in the interacting partners, but mutation in one partner may lead to loss of interaction and functional failure. While some theoretical suggestions were proposed to solve this 'specificity valley crossing' problem, it remains a challenge to study this problem empirically at the molecular level. In bacteria, there are numerous divergent evolving pathways. Many of these pathways are involved in mediating conflicts between selfish genes, cells and populations. We and others have speculated that such multilevel selection can facilitate pathway divergence. Here we propose to study this link using the Rap-Phr cell-cell communication system, which has diversified to ~100 specific systems in the B. subtilis lineage. These systems consist of a receptor (Rap) and its cognate peptide pheromone (Phr) that influence multiple levels of selection. They promote their own horizontal transfer, modulate core cellular pathways, and manipulate cooperation between cells. Combining modelling with deep mutational scanning, competition assays and time-lapse microscopy we will quantitatively study all these levels of selection and their implication for diversification on a large fitness landscape. Specifically, we will (1) map the Rap-Phr interaction landscape at unprecedented resolution, constructing and screening libraries of ~106 Phr peptide variants and ~104 Rap variants. (2) Quantify the fitness effects of these systems at multiple levels of selection in biofilms. (3) Theoretically generate and experimentally verify predictions about how Rap-Phr co-evolve and diversify. Our work will pioneer the study of fitness landscapes under multilevel selection and provide a direct, quantitative, and predictive framework for understanding the evolution of specificity.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Ishay Ben-Zion, Shaul Pollak, Avigdor Eldar
Clonality and non-linearity drive facultative-cooperation allele diversity
published pages: 824-835, ISSN: 1751-7362, DOI: 10.1038/s41396-018-0310-y
The ISME Journal 13/3 2019-10-29
2018 Tasneem Bareia, Shaul Pollak, Avigdor Eldar
Self-sensing in Bacillus subtilis quorum-sensing systems
published pages: 83-89, ISSN: 2058-5276, DOI: 10.1038/s41564-017-0044-z
Nature Microbiology 3/1 2019-06-12

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