CORDIS
EU research results

CORDIS

English EN
Revealing the cell biology of a predatory bacterium in space and time

Revealing the cell biology of a predatory bacterium in space and time

Objective

The model predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus feeds upon other Gram-negative bacteria, including pathogenic strains. Upon entry inside the periplasmic space of the prey envelope, B. bacteriovorus initiates an exquisite developmental program in which it digests the host resources while ensuring the osmotic stability of its niche. In the periplasm, the predator cell grows as a polyploid filament, before releasing a variable, odd or even number of daughter cells upon a non-binary division event. The progeny is then liberated to hunt for new prey. B. bacteriovorus is now attracting a revived attention as several in vivo models of infection established its promising “living antibiotic” potential. Despite this remarkable lifestyle, the fields of bacterial cell biology and antibiotics research still lack a comprehensive understanding of how this micro-predator thrives inside the envelope of other bacteria. Indeed, the molecular factors behind the non-canonical cell biology of B. bacteriovorus are still largely mysterious.

My goal is to tackle this question by unraveling the novel mechanisms that control key processes of the fascinating cell cycle of this bacterium, using a unique combination of quantitative live imaging of predation at the single-cell level, bacterial genetics and molecular biology. Specifically, I aim to (i) uncover how the genetic information is organized, copied and partitioned in a polyploid cell before non-binary division, (i) shed light on factors that polarize the predator cell, and (iii) discover prey envelope features that influence the predation cycle. Because the biology of B. bacteriovorus stands beyond textbook standards, our results will provide mechanistic insight into important biological questions that remained unexplored using “classical” model species. If successful, this project will advance bacterial cell biology, while offering an innovative contribution to the fight against antibiotics-resistant pathogens.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Host institution

UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN

Address

Place De L Universite 1
1348 Louvain La Neuve

Belgium

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 499 688

Beneficiaries (1)

Sort alphabetically

Sort by EU Contribution

Expand all

UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 1 499 688

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 802331

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2019

  • End date

    31 December 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 499 688

  • EU contribution

    € 1 499 688

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN

Belgium