Bacterial Communities and Biofilms

bacteria motility

bacteria surface visits We are reaching the limits of what can be learned using exclusively traditional methods based on genetic manipulation and subsequent observation, since biofilm development depends strongly on epigenetic and communal factors. We have recently developed a general method to analyze development of bacterial biofilm phenotypes in situ. Time-lapse microscopy movies of bacteria are translated into searchable databases. "Search engines" are used to find in these movies all examples of specific events in the bacterial life cycle, such as surface attachment, cell division, or cell detachment. We can delineate the full "geneological" and motility history for every individual cell in a movie. By combining this high-throughput microscopy analysis with the library of mutants available for P. aeruginosa (where 80% of the non-house keeping genes have been mutated singly and in combination), we will be able to investigate the connection between nutritional conditions, polysaccharide production, cdiGMP signaling, and surface motility in P. aeruginosa biofilm formation at the community level for the first time.

We are part of the Human Frontiers Science Program Center for Early Biofilm Development.

Recent Publications

Here is some of our recent work.

How does P. aeruginosa organize into microcolonies?

The connection between M. xanthus, lubricants, and earthquakes

Why do P. aeruginosa ‘twitch’ when they crawl on a surface using their Type IV Pili?

Walking Bacteria

Related Publications

More general references for our work on bacteria are listed below.

Back to Research