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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.

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

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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