Synchronization of glycolytic oscillations in a yeast cell population

S. Dano, F. Hynne, Silvia De Monte, F. d'Ovidio, P.G. Sørensen, H. Westerhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The mechanism of active phase synchronization in a suspension of oscillatory yeast cells has remained a puzzle for almost half a century. The difficulty of the problem stems from the fact that the synchronization phenomenon involves the entire metabolic network of glycolysis and fermentation, and consequently it cannot be addressed at the level of a single enzyme or a single chemical species. In this paper it is shown how this system in a CSTR (continuous flow stirred tank reactor) can be modelled quantitatively as a population of Stuart-Landau oscillators interacting by exchange of metabolites through the extracellular medium, thus reducing the complexity of the problem without sacrificing the biochemical realism. The parameters of the model can be derived by a systematic expansion from any full-scale model of the yeast cell kinetics with a supercritical Hopf bifurcation. Some parameter values can also be obtained directly from analysis of perturbation experiments. In the mean-field limit, equations for the study of populations having a distribution of frequencies are used to simulate the effect of the inherent variations between cells.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFaraday Discussions
Pages (from-to)261-276
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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