Host polarization of bacterial chromosomes: mechanisms and function

The way cells organise their genetic material massively impact their functioning and evolution. Traditionally, chromosome conformation and configuration have only been studied in model organisms such as rod-shaped bacteria that divide by transverse fission (e.g., Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis). However, bacteria come in different shapes and sizes and can adopt dramatically different lifestyles. For example, some Neisseriaceae exclusively occurring in the mouth of warm-blooded vertebrates are multicellular and divide longitudinally.This project aims to understand how and why these bacterial symbionts stably orient their chromosomes toward their host.

What is the role of the chromosome partitioning system ParABS in the positioning of symbiont chromosomes? Does the stable configuration of symbiont chromosomes mediate localised translation of proteins involved in host colonisation? The answers to these questions can lead to a bigger appreciation of biological diversity and how it evolved.


PhD Student: Nicole Krause

Supervisor: Silvia Bulgheresi

Funding: University of Vienna, Vienna Doctoral School of Ecology and Evolution

Duration: 01.06.2023-31.05.2026

Nicole Krause