Supplementary Information from A touch of sleep: biophysical model of contact-mediated dormancy of archaea by viruses

2016-09-21T06:06:11Z (GMT) by Hayriye Gulbudak Joshua S. Weitz
The canonical view of the interactions between viruses and their microbial hosts presumes that changes in host and virus fate require the initiation of infection of a host by a virus. Infection may lead to the death of the host cell and release of viruses, to the elimination of the viral genome through cellular defense mechanisms, or the integration of the viral genome with the host as a chromosomal or extra-chromosomal element. Here we revisit this canonical view, inspired by recent experimental findings in which the majority of target host cells can be induced into a dormant state when exposed to either active or de-activated viruses, even when viruses are present at low relative titer. We propose that both the qualitative phenomena and the quantitative time-scales of dormancy induction are consistent with the hypothesis that cellular physiology can be altered by <i>contact</i> on the surface of host cells rather than strictly by <i>infection</i>. In order to test this hypothesis, we develop and study a biophysical model of contact-mediated dynamics involving virus particles and target cells. We show how virus particles can catalyze cellular transformations amongst many cells, even if they ultimately infect only one (or none). We also find that population-scale dormancy is robust to variation in the representation of model dynamics, including cell growth, death, and recovery.