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NoiseRobustEvo SIGNED

Noise and robustness in the evolution of novel protein phenotypes

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 NoiseRobustEvo project word cloud

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

engineering    first    hypothesis    pervasive    coli    validate    kinds    expression    promoters    cell    molecular    misincorporation    duplication    rates    molecules    ribosomes    revealing    stochastic    fluorescent    gene    constantly    quiet    throughput    persistence    themselves    analyze    originate    laboratory    host    noisy    synthesis    sequencing    fast    amino    source    cells    adaptive    earlier    ways    overexpression    strains    evolve    discover    observations    revolutionize    poorly    mutations    levels    evolution    transcript    evolutionary    fps    accelerate    biology    phenotypic    proteins    biologically    hinder    combination    light    dynamics    color    directed    organisms    abundant    living    noise    data    revolutionized    phenotypes    innovation    predicts    colors    dna    robustness    acids    hypothesize    emitting    platform    protein    manipulate    ubiquitous    mistranslation    driving    modeling    engineers    stabilizing    theory    jointly    barraged    separately    chaperone    functions    variation    perturbations   

Project "NoiseRobustEvo" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RAMISTRASSE 71
city: Zürich
postcode: 8006

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 Switzerland [CH]
 Total cost 2˙383˙444 €
 EC max contribution 2˙383˙444 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-10-01   to  2022-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITAT ZURICH CH (Zürich) coordinator 2˙383˙444.00


 Project objective

Living cells are constantly barraged by perturbations that originate within themselves. Especially abundant – far more than DNA mutations – are two kinds of such perturbations. The first is gene expression noise, pervasive stochastic variation of transcript and protein levels. The second is mistranslation noise, the misincorporation of amino acids by ribosomes during protein synthesis. Organisms and protein molecules can evolve robustness – the persistence of well-adapted phenotypes – to both kinds of noise. Theory predicts that noise and robustness can affect the adaptive evolution of new proteins, but we do not know whether they help or hinder adaptive evolution. We hypothesize that noise and robustness can accelerate protein evolution both separately and jointly. To validate this hypothesis, we will evolve light-emitting fluorescent proteins towards new color phenotypes via directed laboratory evolution in E.coli. During evolution, we will manipulate expression noise by driving FP expression from noisy or quiet promoters, and we will manipulate mistranslation via host strains with low and high mistranslation rates. We will manipulate protein robustness in three biologically important ways, chaperone overexpression, gene duplication, and stabilizing selection. We will study how fast FPs evolve new colors, and analyze protein evolutionary dynamics through a combination of high-throughput sequencing, engineering of selected adaptive mutations, and data-driven modeling. Our project will show how a ubiquitous but poorly understood source of phenotypic variation affects protein innovation. It will also help engineers discover new protein functions. Moreover, our work will help establish FPs as a major platform to study protein evolutionary dynamics. By revealing noise as a new and crucial factor in protein evolution, our observations have the potential to revolutionize molecular evolution research, much like earlier studies of noise have revolutionized cell biology.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Jia Zheng, Joshua L. Payne, Andreas Wagner
Cryptic genetic variation accelerates evolution by opening access to diverse adaptive peaks
published pages: 347-353, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aax1837
Science 365/6451 2020-04-15
2019 Aguilar-Rodríguez, José; Fares, Mario A; Wagner, Andreas
Chaperonin overproduction and metabolic erosion caused by mutation accumulation in Escherichia coli
published pages: , ISSN: 0378-1097, DOI: 10.5167/uzh-182142
Aguilar-Rodríguez, José; Fares, Mario A; Wagner, Andreas (2019). Chaperonin overproduction and metabolic erosion caused by mutation accumulation in Escherichia coli. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 366(10):fnz121. 1 2020-04-15
2019 Joshua L. Payne, Andreas Wagner
The causes of evolvability and their evolution
published pages: 24-38, ISSN: 1471-0056, DOI: 10.1038/s41576-018-0069-z
Nature Reviews Genetics 20/1 2020-04-15
2018 Payne, Joshua L; Khalid, Fahad; Wagner, Andreas
RNA-mediated gene regulation is less evolvable than transcriptional regulation
published pages: , ISSN: 1091-6490, DOI: 10.5167/uzh-167214
PNAS 3 2019-06-06
2018 Aguilar-Rodríguez, José; Peel, Leto; Stella, Massimo; Wagner, Andreas; Payne, Joshua L.
The architecture of an empirical genotype-phenotype map
published pages: , ISSN: 1558-5646, DOI: 10.3929/ethz-b-000274406
Evolution, 72 (6) 11 2019-06-06
2018 Kathleen Sprouffske, José Aguilar-Rodríguez, Paul Sniegowski, Andreas Wagner
High mutation rates limit evolutionary adaptation in Escherichia coli
published pages: e1007324, ISSN: 1553-7404, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007324
PLOS Genetics 14/4 2019-06-06

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