ANDREW D. RUTENBERG ANDREW D. RUTENBERG Dalhousie Physics Dalhousie
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Phage Lysis Timing



Experimentally bacteriophage lyse their host bacteria very close to an optimal time to maximize the phage growth rate. The lysis clock is controlled by holin, an integral inner membrane protein. We recover the timing and accuracy of the experimental lysis clock (JBact) with holin raft nucleation on the bacterial inner membrane followed by hole nucleation within the rafts. We control the raft nucleation with a holin-holin interaction, while the hole nucleation is described by a hole nucleation rate. We find that the holin interaction is optimal with respect to lysis accuracy --- significantly weaker interactions could not nucleate rafts before the observed lysis time, while significantly stronger interactions led to less accurate lysis timing.