There are two types of questions about cellular heterogeneity.
1) What phenotypes are originated from cellular heterogeneity?
2) What mechanisms create cellular heterogeneity from a homogenous population?
These are not independent. Some researchers think revealing the questions like (2) may contribute to novel approaches for regulating cellular heterogeneity, especially in cancer drug resistance (that are revealed by the questions like (1)).
The main object of this articles belongs to (2).
This paper showed that the minority of ada protein (DNA repair protein) in E. coli was a cause of heterogeneity of DNA damage sensitivities. in E. coli.
This paper used very cool method for single cell and molecule analysis.
Authors wrote at end of this articles,
“Just as genetic heterogeneity can cause phenotypic heterogeneity, the reverse is also true”
This is very interesting.
Do similar things occur in organisms that have slower cell cycles than E.coli?