Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 339984
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Israel

Mid-Term Report Summary - BACTERIAL RESPONSE (New Concepts in Bacterial Response to their Surroundings)

Bacteria in nature exhibit remarkable capacity to sense their surroundings and rapidly adapt to diverse conditions by gaining new beneficial traits. This extraordinary feature facilitates their survival when facing extreme environments. Utilizing Bacillus subtilis as our primary model organism, we study two facets of this vital bacterial attribute: communication via extracellular nanotubes, a phenomenon we have previously discovered, and persistence as resilient spores while maintaining the potential to revive. We have made significant progress in understanding these bacterial adaptive strategies by: 1) Defining that nanotubes are composed of chains of membranous segments harboring a continuous lumen, directly emanating from cytoplasmic membrane (Dubey et al., 2016); 2) Visualizing nanotube growth and dynamics in living cells, using newly developed fluorescence tools (Dubey et al., 2016); 3) Elucidating nanotube components and identifying the phosphodiesterase YmdB, as a major component required for nanotube formation and intercellular molecular trade (Dubey et al., 2016); 4) Devising a three dimensional time lapse microscopy assay for observing the formation of multilayered colonies, and revealing the sequence of events occurring during colony formation (Mamou et al., 2016); 5) Showing that intercellular nanotubes are required for proper colony formation and are formed between the pioneering cells establishing the colony (Mamou et al., 2016); 6) Establishing assays to directly visualizing interspecies nutrient extraction and toxin delivery between bacteria mediated via nanotubes (submitted); 7) Finding non-canonical modes of phage infection and spreading in multispecies communities (Tzipilevich et al., in press); 8) Defining the entire spore revival proteome (Sinai et al., 2015); 9) Discovering that protein synthesis is carried out during germination and necessary for its occurrence, thereby fundamentally changing the current dogma of spore germination (Sinai et al., 2015); and 10) Revealing the phosphoproteome of dormant and germinating spores for the first time (Rosenberg et al., 2015). These achievements are in strong correlation with our original ERC goals.

Dubey, G.P., and Ben-Yehuda, S. (2011). Intercellular nanotubes mediate bacterial communication. Cell 144, 590-600.
Dubey, G.P., Malli Mohan, G.B., Dubrovsky, A., Amen, T., Tsipshtein, S., Rouvinski, A., Rosenberg, A., Kaganovich, D., Sherman, E., Medalia, O., et al. (2016). Architecture and Characteristics of Bacterial Nanotubes. Developmental cell 36, 453-461.
Elbaz, M., and Ben-Yehuda, S. (2015). Following the fate of bacterial cells experiencing sudden chromosome loss. mBio 6, e00092-00015.
Mamou, G., Malli Mohan, G.B., Rouvinski, A., Rosenberg, A., and Ben-Yehuda, S. (2016). Early Developmental Program Shapes Colony Morphology in Bacteria. Cell Rep 14, 1850-1857.
Rosenberg, A., Soufi, B., Ravikumar, V., Soares, N.C., Krug, K., Smith, Y., Macek, B., and Ben-Yehuda, S. (2015). Phosphoproteome dynamics mediate revival of bacterial spores. BMC biology 13, 76.
Segev, E., Smith, Y., and Ben-Yehuda, S. (2012). RNA dynamics in aging bacterial spores. Cell 148, 139-149.
Sinai, L., Rosenberg, A., Smith, Y., Segev, E., and Ben-Yehuda, S. (2015). The molecular timeline of a reviving bacterial spore. Molecular cell 57, 695-707.
Tzipilevich, E., Habusha, M., and Ben-Yehuda, S. Acquisition of phage sensitivity by bacteria through exchange of phage receptors. Cell, In press.

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