Supplementary material from "Reusable building blocks in biological systems"

Published on 2018-12-05T11:20:01Z (GMT) by
One of the widely recognized features of biological systems is their modularity. The modules that comprise biological systems are said to be <i>redeployed and combined</i> across several conditions, thus acting as building blocks. In this work, we analyse to what extent are these building blocks reusable as compared to those found in randomized versions of a system. We develop a notion of decompositions of systems into Phenotypic Building Blocks, which allows for them to overlap while maximizing the number of times a building block is reused across several conditions. Different biological systems present building blocks whose reusability ranges from single-use (e.g. condition specific) to constitutive, although their average reusability is not always higher than random equivalents of the system. These decompositions reveal a distinct distribution of building block sizes in real biological systems. This distribution stems, in part, from the peculiar usage pattern of the elements of biological systems, and constitutes a new angle to study the evolution of modularity.

Cite this collection

Mireles, Victor; Conrad, Tim OF (2018): Supplementary material from "Reusable building blocks in biological systems". The Royal Society. Collection.