Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


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A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Computer Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Stephen D. Scott and Professor Jitender Singh Deogun. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2012

Copyright 2012 Abhishek Majumdar


Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is one of the most widely studied single celled organisms. Mating of yeast cells occur between cells of opposite mating types a and alpha. Pheromone secretion by a cell alerts the corresponding opposite type cell about its presence and eventually facilitates the process of mating between them. The details of how pheromones affect cells can be studied from the pheromone response pathway in a yeast cell. A response pathway typically depicts the chain of interactions that happens between the different proteins in the cells in response to the pheromone. In this thesis we model the yeast pheromone response pathway using Petri nets and simulate various conditions under which a cell will respond positively to the secreted pheromone. We also take a look at how different proteins in the cell might be able to facilitate the correct functionality of the pathway. The objective of this thesis is to serve as a guideline for performing lab experiments to further explore the yeast pheromone pathway.

Advisors: Stephen D. Scott and Jitender Singh Deogun