Simulating the growth of viruses.
To explore how the genome of an organism defines its growth, we have developed a computer simulation for the intracellular growth of phage T7 on its E. coli host. Our simulation, which incorporates 30 years of genetic, biochemical, physiological, and biophysical data, is used here to study how the intracellular resources of the host, determined by the specific growth rate of the host, contribute toward phage development. It is also used to probe how changes in the linear organization of genetic elements on the T7 genome can affect T7 development. Further, we show how time-series trajectories of T7 mRNA and protein levels generated by the simulation may be used as raw data to test data-mining strategies, specifically, to identify partners in protein-protein interactions. Finally, we suggest how generalization of this work can lead to a knowledge-driven simulation for the growth of any virus.
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